Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big-Ass Rats

Florida and Hawaii lead the nation when it comes to having to deal with invasive species totally messing up the balance of their ecosystems. Non-native plants and animals can often devestate an environment, and government scientists are constantly waging battles against these dangerious invaders.

The Florida Keys are knee-deep in such a battle right now.

Federal and state officials are trying to completely irradicate Gambian pouched rats from the state. These are not ordinary rats. These damn things grow to the size of full-grown cats! Can you imagine a 9 pound rat running around your yard???

Holy crap!

These African rats are more than a pest - they could potentially be dangerous. They are responsible for destroying all kinds of crops in their native Africa. And they are mean sonsofbitches - they will bite. And because some moron was keeping them and decided to let them loose 8 years ago, government workers are setting toxic traps in an effort to completely destroy them.

"They're a big rodent. They're not particularly attractive. I don't understand why anyone would want them as a pet," Gary Witmer, a member of the US Department of Agricultrue said. "They're very messy animals."

There are a ton examples of other invasive species causing havoc to the native ecosystems:

When the Asian long-horned beetle infested Brooklyn, New York, more than 2000 trees had to be destroyed, costing the federal and state government more than $5 million. Chicago has had to deal with these critters as well.

Invading sea lampreys caused the collapse of lake trout and other Great Lakes fisheries, costing the U.S. and Canada $13 million annually to control. This eel-like parasite of a fish can kill up to 40 pounds of other fish during it's 12-20 month lifetime.

In Guam, the brown tree snake was accidentally introduced to its ecosystem. This Australian native has caused over 200 snake bites, 1200 electrical outages and the extinction of most native forest birds on Guam.

On the TV show The View, the invasion of the Rosie absolutely devestated the already established balance on the set. The Rosie created her own magazine, and then quit - with a $100 million lawsuit on her heels. She then produced a show with Boy George! The musical lost $10 million (duh!!!). And she has engaged in battles with The Letterman, The O'Reilly, The Trump, and finally, The Hasselbeck. Fortunately, she's left the show - but I'm sure this crazy lesbian will find a new home to destroy.

Hat Tip goes to Siren for this story. Have a story idea for a blog post or podcast episode? E-mail me at phoenix@blazingtalons.com or leave a voicemail at 206-339-7125.

27 comments:

Eve said...

I SO Tivoed The View every day to watch the drama. Rosie kicked it up and it was quite entertaining.

I'm actually sad to see her go.

Cool thing: this actually frees up more Tivo space... as now that shit will be SO PC and boring again... *yawn*

The Phoenix said...

She made the show entertaining. It's kinda like watching a car wreck, you just can't help but watch the wheels come off.

KC said...

I've never watched The View, so I only know about Rosie's rants from what I see on CNN. I think she would be an exhausting friend. Too much drama.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Have you ever been to Florida in May or September during love bug season? I'm sitting here on a park bench even as I type this and love bugs are flyinh all around me...landing on my arms....crawling along my shoe....they're HORRIBLE (but at least they don't bite!)

Seriously, google them. Rumor was they were man-made bugs created by geniuses at UF but according to Snopes.com, that's not true.

Anyway, sometimes they swarm so bd that when you're on the highway, they sound like rain hitting your windshield...not only are they messy but their guts will eat the paint off your car if you leave it on long enough.

And now you're telling me I have to expect giant rats sometime in the near future? Greeeeeaaaaat! ;)

Jamie Dawn said...

Rosie is too much of a loudmouthed hater for me.
I used to think she was funny. I liked her in A League of Their Own, but she has morphed into a very unlikable person. I have never watched The View, and I don't plan to.

Those rats are horrid!!!!!!!

The sound on my laptop is broken, so I couldn't listen to your last post. We have three other laptops in this house, but they are never here or available when I have time to go online. :-(

I only have seen one snake in my yard and that is MORE than enough for me!! I do not like snakes or insects or rodents. I like my pet turtle though.

Gotta go for now. We've got company this week.
Have a good day!

stephanie-austin.com said...

I read/saw something about pythons in the Everglades. A-holes who don't know any better get them as pets and when (SURPRISE!) they end up getting too big to handle, they just let them go.

mojotek said...

I've seen a documentary about the brown snakes invading Guam. It's actually quite scary there. And that's no lie about almost all native bird species being wiped out.

Oh, and when did I miss your very own domain name? Am I just not paying attention these days?

Grafs said...

Maybe we should export Rosie to Gambia in retribution.

Keshi said...

eeeeeeeeeeksss I hate em!

Keshi.

Big Pissy said...

Aeiiiiii!!!!!!!!

Rodents AND snakes?!?!?

Are you trying to give me a heart attack!

The Egg said...

I'm afraid of rats! Eeeek! I didn't watch the feuds on The View. I don't think I could tolerate any of the morning shows. Give me Price Is Right!

Haley-O said...

Those poor rats! they're cute.... And, yeah, Rosie had to leave -- didn't have to run like that, but it was beyond time....

Rocketstar said...

Rosie, LOL!

The interesting thing about invasvie species is that in the end nature will always balance itself out. It may be at the expense of other species, but that's survival of the fittest I guess.

the weirdgirl said...

We're dealing with a (small) invasion of the Australian Apple Moth in my county at the moment. Authorities are freaking out because this moth will attack all sorts of plants (other than apples) and no one wants it to get out of control like the Mediterranean fruit fly did. (No matter how metropolitan this area gets, at heart we're still farm country.)

An invasion of the Rosie would be much, though. I'd imagine we'd lose double the crops!

BTW, love the new URL!

Jay said...

I love Rosie, but daytime television does't want 5-alarm chili, it wants applesauce.

ozymandiaz said...

Come now, we all know that HUMANS are the most invasive and destructive of species and we weren't even introduced by the local species. We are only truly indigiouness to Mesopotamia and yet we are now everywhere. Plus, no process of extermination seems to be effective.

Orhan Kahn said...

Rosie certainly seems like an unbalanced ecosystem!

Godwhacker said...

We have more then a few problems in Florida with non-indigenous plants and animals. There is also a plague of giant snakes and monitor lizards ~ as if the alligators and sharks weren't bad enough!

But hey! Leave Rosie alone! She has more cojones then most men on t.v.!

angel, jr. said...

Ewww, I don't like rats. Why don't they get the snake to eat the rat? But then again, what could they do about the snake problem?

BrianAlt said...

It's all about natural selection. What if we tried to kill off the iguana from coming to the Galapagos?

DaBich said...

Friggin rodents. Give me a 22 and there will be a lot fewer of them!!!

Etchen said...

I read that those rats can swim long distances so they think that will leave the islands and come to the mainland. Ugh!

The Phoenix said...

You people are hillarious. I'm thinking we can invite all the rednecks from all over the country to come to the Florida Keys. Just provide the beer and the ammo.

There - rat problem solved.

The Phoenix said...

Oh, by the way - Mojo, yes you're correct. I do have my very own domain now.

www.blazingtalons.com

It combines two movie references in one: Blazing Saddles and Napoleon Dynamite.

Orhan Kahn said...

Australia's ecosystem was ruined by idiot European settlers who introduced enough foriegn wild life you screw a whole nation-island.

cube said...

Good post. It wouldn't have occurred to me to mention Rosie in a post about invasive species ;-)

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