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City of Berkeley Is Trying to Kill Chip and Dale

Ian Eck | February 19, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

Squirrels are cute. They're fun. They gave us the multi-faceted adjective "squirrely," and they've even inspired their own sporting club at UC Berkeley. Thanks to the dissappointing lack of Golden Bears running around on campus, some might call squirrels the unofficial mascots of Cal.

Now they're slated to die.

A squirrel genocide is about to take place at Berkeley's Cesar Chavez Park. For years, the park has been under attack by an overpopulation of squirrels and pocket gophers, and by “on the attack” we mean the animals have been burrowing in their natural habitat. Unfortunately for them, this natural habitat happens to have been built on top of about 1.9 million tons of residential, industrial, and commercial waste near the Berkeley Marina. Those burrows are causing “garbage juice” to spill out into the bay. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board doesn’t like that. And the squirrels are going down hard.

City staff and the pest control company, Animal Damage Control, remain silent as to how this mass murder will occur, though experts cite capture and CO2 gassing as a popular method. It may sound harsh (or merciful, depending on who you ask), but the options are limited. California state law prohibits the moving of wildlife, and filling up the holes only leads to more holes. Authorities even tried to outsource the dirty work to birds of prey by building owl boxes and raptor perches, but the local mercenaries aren’t doing enough.

Perhaps it’s time to bring in the big guns. Seriously, you should watch this guy. Straight-up surgical with an air rifle, and, despite the gory content, some pretty stunning camera work. Dexter-esque. Not for Chip and Dale fans.

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