SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Spokane is having a problem with too many ground squirrels at the Finch Arboretum
So the Parks and Recreation department is going to use a special machine to detonate some of the 100 to 150 rodents that are tearing up the grounds.
The machine is called the Rodenator Pro. It pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels.
The parks department says the Rodenator is a humane way to kill the squirrels. But it warns area residents that the explosions sound like gun shots, and to not to alarmed by them all week.
I’m a big treehugger type and I’d rather they found a way to live with the squirrels harmoniously, but if they are going to kill them, this is a much more humane way to do it than most other methods they tend to use on rodents. It is kind of ridiculous sounding, but it should be about as quick and painless as it gets.
Limiting the food supply doesn’t necessarily mean individual squirrels will starve to death. If carefully balanced it could be done to the point where it curbs their breeding and lowers the population over a couple of generations without starving them to death. I suspect the cost involved in doing something like this, especially in terms of research and monitoring, would be very large though.
That isn’t really disagreement with what I said. Limiting their food supply would be one of the ways in which they might try to “live with the squirrels harmoniously”. My point was that once they’ve decided they are going to kill the squirrels off this way is more humane than most, even if it is also more spectacular.