FG went to Catholic Kid’s Camp this past week and the theme was St. Patrick. For my family, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations include lots of food, fun and more than a little green beer. My father had a blow-out party every year and it was considered “the” party to go to in our small town. He planned for it all year and even had invitations sent from Ireland. My mom provided lots of help but really it was my Dad’s day. When I saw some of the same decorations i.e. shamrock centerpieces, stickers, etc. I couldn’t help but smile. Good memories.
In keeping with the theme of St. Patrick, who drove the snakes out of Ireland, the camp organizers invited the Department of Agriculture to put on a demonstration about the Brown Tree Snake. I snuck away from helping with the snacks to check it out and it was fascinating. They brought in several live snakes to show and one was over 5 feet long.
This was definitely not for the faint of heart ~ they let the big snake slither across the floor for a moment and he was not a happy camper.
Introduced accidentally to Guam in the late 1940s, the Brown Tree Snake has caused extensive ecological damage to the island. Snakes have exterminated most of the indigenous forest birds and also greatly reduced the population of fruit bats and lizards. They are not poisonous to people but could leave a harmful bite mark on a baby or young child. Unfortunately, it has no natural predator here, but there is a dog who would like nothing better than to tear one apart.
The working dog did a great job sniffing out the hidden snakes. This Jack Russell was so small and cute but he was all business. He sniffed out the snakes like they were steak.
They use the dogs at the two airports (Commercial and Air Force) as well as at Big Navy. An average of 50 snakes a day are trapped and killed here in Guam. Yes, he said every day. Can’t believe I haven’t seen one on our walks. I’ll have to look harder.
We were told there is a problem with people letting the bait (the mice) out of the traps ~ I plead the fifth. 😉