Monday, November 10, 2008

If you're not part of the solution

You're part of the problem.

So goes the saying and its certainly true of the Indian mongoose in places outside its home range. We have mongooses (mongeese?) throughout the Caribbean after they were introduced to control pests like rats and snakes - they didn't do much to the rats but our snakes have taken a beating. Nowadays mongoose control and mongoose-free areas are a key feature of small animal conservation out here. Nonetheless I see them very rarely (with the exception of one island which is crawling with them). This chap was one of a very few I've seen on our island and he didn't seem to well for it. (WARNING below here it gets a bit sad I'm afraid).


My unscientific diagnosis is that he may have swallowed a poison bait - unfortunately a lot of residents here use very basic and very inhumane poisoned baits to control feral cats, rats and dogs and I suspect this poor soul may have swallowed one. He walked across the road in front of me then stopped and hid. The other option perhaps was a glancing car strike. Either way, this wasn't the wary and agile behaviour I've come to expect from these guys and I suspect he was not long for this earth.


We don't really have a facility here to treat these animals (and as an invasive pest he should really be dispatched anyway) and mongoose here are known to be highly effective rabies vectors so I wasn't going to try euthanising it myself and risk a bite so I took these shots and left him alone - hopefully he'll find some peace.


garden girl said...

poor little thing! The misguided import and export of invasive species as pest control and the accidental spread of invasive pests through world trade has wreaked havoc on our environment and caused untold suffering.

TROLL said...

The plural is mongeese. Big problem on St. John. Incredibly stupid idea to import them in the first place.