Brown snakes are overrunning Guam. They came to the island aboard U.S. ships after World War II. Now they are multiplying like crazy, have killed off virtually every native species of bird, and are biting humans and wrecking power lines. As a result, Guam’s jungle areas are coated with spider webs, because the birds that normally would eat the spiders aren’t there to keep the spiders in check.
Guam’s snake infestation is giving Hawaii the heebie-jeebies. If a pregnant brown snake, or a mating pair of snakes, hitched a ride on a boat and landed in the snakeless Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii’s beautiful bird population — which has no fear of snakes — could be decimated.
Guam officials are concerned that the brown snake problem could hurt Guam’s reputation as a tourist destination. No kidding! Guam sounds like a nightmare. If your small island is infested with biting snakes and spiders, you’ve already managed to creep out the vast majority of humans. All Guam needs to do to complete the hair-raising, creepy-crawlie trifecta is to throw some scorpions into the mix.
The U.S. government has come up with a drastic solution to Guam’s brown snake problem. It will drop dead mice laced with painkillers over the island’s jungles. The theory is that the brown snakes will eat the mice and die by the score. Presumably, the government has some reason to believe that other mice-eating creatures won’t gobble down the tainted mice.
I’m not so sure — and I therefore composed this bit of doggerel:
Brown snakes hitched a ride to Guam, hoping to find some lebensraum
They bred and grew to levels absurd, ’til little Guam had not a bird
And as the bird population ebbed, the isle became more spider-webbed
Then Uncle Sam said it’d help poor Guam, by inventing a toxic mice bomb
So, cats of Guam! Good cats, beware! Toxic mice are in the air!