Across Continents

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Coping with cane toads

If you were ever to wonder why Australia’s so strict with its quarantine rules, two words. Cane toads. Introduced to tackle critters blighting the sugar crop. Laudable idea. But an ecological disaster. Didn’t make a jot of difference. Little devils too busy breeding. And noisy with it.

Seems everyone has their own way of trying to keep the toad population in check. Petrol. Bleach. Microwaves. Not so keen on the latter. Bit messy. Difficult. Not least because their toxicity means potential predators like dogs and snakes drop dead after a few mouthfuls.

And do be careful not to run over dead, bloated specimens often found at the roadside. Tend to explode. Not funny when you don’t have a front mudguard.

Good news is that someone’s just devised a spray that quickly renders the blighters unconscious. Then kills them. About ten minutes. Left me wondering if it’d work on other irritants I’d encountered in Queensland. Alas, that’d probably be manslaughter. Pity.



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