- CALGARY - Scientists in
Alberta are trying to find out if there is a new breed of gopher that
is able to tolerate one of the most toxic poisons known to man.
- It is one of the theories about the population explosion
of the Richardson Ground Squirrel, also known as the gopher. The cuddly
little critters are wreaking havoc on Alberta farms and no one is sure
how to stop them.
- The Alberta government and the cattle industry have started
a $10,000 study. They want to know why gophers are not dying when they
- Many ranchers think that federally-regulated baits, which
are laced with 0.4 per cent strychnine or 0.2 per cent zinc phosphide,
are too watered down. Some suggest they only give gophers a slight buzz.
- Another theory is that the gophers have outsmarted everyone
and just ignore the baits. The other suspicion is that a new breed of
super-gopher has built up an immunity to the poison.