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The Scoop: Santa Monica Squirrels Get Birth Controlled

Lil squirrelly faces like this one are terrorizing the city of Santa Monica – in fact, there's such a population explosion in Palisades Park that the officials are taking a (thankfully) humane tactic to cut it down . . . birth control shots. It's only the second city in the state (Berkeley was the first) to administer GonaCon, an immuno-contraceptive developed by the US Department of Agriculture to help control the squirrel population. While it doesn't come cheap – costing $2 to $10 a shot – it has no side effects and is much better than the traditional population-control strategy . . . euthanasia. Find out a little bit more (with more pictures) when you

.

"It's a cutting-edge approach," said Joe McGrath, the city's parks chief. "Pest control in general isn't usually very exciting or even controversial. That hasn't been the case with the squirrels." While my college years were filled with these cheeky creatures often coming into dorms and classrooms, it's been a while since I've been confronted with an overpopulation of squirrels – how about you?


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Join The Conversation
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
:rotfl: @ CaterpillarGirl
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Damn I love Squirrels! I'm all for birth control but I hope some of them squirrels forget to take the pill and have more little beedy eyed buggers. Sciuridae are my favorite rodent ever.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
I imagine they'll just set humane traps to catch them. Which makes me wonder two things. One, what if they catch the same squirrels more than once? Will multiple shots do damage, or will they tag the ones they catch? Two, what if something eats that squirrel? Will hawk populations be cut too because they eat a squirrel that's been given birth control?
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
How DO they trap them? Do the "shooters" hide in the grass and make sounds like acorns? ;)
rickimc rickimc 9 years
Must have been hard catching them.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
My first thought was of a bunch of people running around with little squirrel pills each and every day!
mnp mnp 9 years
I think this is more humane but I'm sure it's going to upset the squirrel's instincts, right? After a while, when they realize that they don't have offsprings, what then?
wren1 wren1 9 years
I was thinking the same thing as calliemicks!
calliemicks calliemicks 9 years
OMG- I can't believe they are able to capture so many squirrels in order to inject them with bc. It seems like they'd run away!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Just shoot them and eat them like we do.
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