Saturday, July 19, 2014

Watch Out For Falling Cats...!

This is a case of one crazy idea that actually worked the way it was intended. Imagine that!

The UK Airdropped A Squad Of Cats Into Borneo
By Michael Van Duisen on Thursday, August 8, 2013

During the 1950s, Borneo was overrun with rats, an unintended consequence of huge DDT sprays that aimed to kill malaria-spreading mosquitoes. Unfortunately, many cockroaches were also sprayed and were eaten by lizards, which were in turn eaten by cats, many of which died shortly after. The plan? Gather up reinforcement cats and have the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force drop them into the country by parachute. And yes, it totally worked.


In the 1950s, the Dayak people of the island of Borneo were in the midst of a severe malaria outbreak, which was known to be spread by mosquitoes. In order to combat this problem, the World Health Organization decided to utilize DDT, which was not yet seen for the danger that it is. Yes, it was very effective at halting the spread of malaria but an unintended consequence arose. The cockroaches that infested the area were also covered with DDT, but they survived and spread the chemical to the geckos that ate them. Many of them survived, only to be eaten by cats which, because they didn’t have a strong resistance to DDT, succumbed to the pesticide and died.

With their natural predators weakened, the rat population shot up, spreading typhus and destroying many farmers’ crops. To alleviate the problem they unintentionally caused, WHO called upon the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force to assist them in a plan they called Operation: Catdrop.

The plan was pretty simple: Round up a squad of cats in the United Kingdom and ship them to Borneo. Because there was no way to truck them in from the shore and the villages were quite isolated, the RAF used a helicopter to drop the cats to a particularly hard-hit village of Dayak people by parachute, along with some other supplies. When they landed, the cats had a veritable feast of rats and helped restore ecological balance.

I'm glad that the idea was solved in a fairly humane way, since the problem was caused by man to begin with! Someday maybe we'll stop trying to mess with Mother Nature, but I'm not gonna hold my breath!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Fresh apple pie as a side dish!


Rob said...

That was a GREAT story!

Chickenmom said...

I hope they didn't get overrun by puddy tats next! I'll bring vanilla ice cream to top off your delicious apple pie!

JO said...

I tell humans can cause some bad things. At least this story ended right,

fresh apple pie mmmmmm and good coffee. Yes! And thank you

Mamahen said...

Nice to see a happy ending to one of man's screw ups....Fresh apple pie with some of CM's ice cream....count me in :))

Sixbears said...

I bet the cats all landed on their feet.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
I'm sure glad you liked it. Something done by government that makes sense is always giid news!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Phyllis...
They were probably careful as t9o how many they dropped. I'm guessing here, of course.

Thanks for the ice cream and the visit!

Hey Jo...
At least this time they took steps to correct things.

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

Hey Mamahen...
Happy endings are always good!

How can apple pie and ice cream NOT be good?

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Sixbears...
You are more than likely right!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I wonder if they attended the military jump school to learn how to get out of the parachute's harness?