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Gov’t targets mongooses, stray cats for destruction

Date Posted: 2002-01-17

A total of 264 mongooses were captured in northern Okinawa between April and December of last year, prefectural officials announced. October saw the highest number of animals trapped, totaling 60 for the month. The operation was part of a project to exterminate the carnivores, which are threatening indigenous Okinawan species such as the Okinawa rail (Yanbaru kuina). Most of the mongooses were captured in an area bordered by Shioya in Ogimi Village, and Taira in Higashi Village. No signs of the animal were seen in Kunigami Village; however, officials are planning to extend the project south of the Shioya-Taira line in order to limit the mongoose’s territory even further. In related news the Ministry of the Environment announced on Friday the launching of a new plan to eliminate mongooses and stray cats in Kunigami Village. Earlier research had indicated that the felines as well as mongooses were eating the Okinawan rail. Although the prefecture had been releasing captured cats in the past, under the guidelines of the national scheme they will be euthanized if no one comes forward to care for them.

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