Sorry for not providing photos of my own weaselbeast this week; have been up to my neck in a work project and it continues all this week during the RNC, so no crack vans for this shitshow. I will be on Twitter of the evenings, though, so we can hang out and snark there.
The ferrets are being taken out by the sylvatic plague at the moment, and they’re in danger of being wiped out altogether. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a plan: They’re attaching a “glorified gumball machine,” so says US Fish and Wildlife biologist Randy Machett, to drones to distribute M&Ms covered in peanut butter and, more importantly, oral vaccines.
As Machett tells The Guardian, “It is the fastest, cheapest way to distribute the vaccine. We are hopeful this oral vaccine will be used to mitigate plague sites and treat tens of thousands of acres each year.”
The M&Ms actually aren’t for the ferrets, but for the prairie dogs in the area, which make upabout 90 percent of the black-footed ferret’s diet. Assuming this plan gets final approval from the FWS, the drone should take to the Montana skies by September to shoot the M&Ms in three directions in 30-foot intervals.
Shooting M&Ms at prairie dogs out of drone-mounted gumball machines — if my high school science teacher had been able to sell THAT as one application of what we’d been learning I’d be goddamn Marie Curie by now.