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I Got Myxomatosis
February 11, 2010 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Twenty years ago, on this day, Nelson Mandela, walked out of prison. While Mandela would go on to end Aparthied and revolutionize South African fashion, the island where he spent eighteen of his twenty-seven years in prison would go on to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lack of regular habitation, however, has brought a new problem to island, a plague of rabbits.
posted by Panjandrum (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Since mid-October, 5,300 rabbits have been killed, along with 78 unwanted deer and 38 feral cats. Mr. Wilke estimates there are about 8,000 rabbits still to go.

Seems a little stupid to kill the cats if your problem is too many rabbits.
posted by stavrogin at 7:34 AM on February 11, 2010


Still a great song.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:39 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seems a little stupid to kill the cats if your problem is too many rabbits.

When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death
posted by borkencode at 7:43 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Seems a little stupid to kill the cats if your problem is too many rabbits.

I don't know about those particular cats, but most feral cats are pretty scrawny and probably wouldn't have a heck of a time catching a rabbit, let alone killing it, unless they have learned how to pack hunt.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 AM on February 11, 2010


probably would, ugh.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 AM on February 11, 2010


FRONTLINE has a clip of Mandela on Robbin Island. Sorry about the quality-- it only existed as a postage-stamp sized RealPlayer file from 1996 when I re-encoded it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:47 AM on February 11, 2010


I'm sure they could manage the fwuffy wittle bite sized baby bunnies.
posted by stavrogin at 7:48 AM on February 11, 2010


But, then, cats probably wouldn't go down into warrens.
posted by stavrogin at 7:48 AM on February 11, 2010


The solution, obviously, is to re-imprison Mandela on Robben Island. They didn't have this problem when he was there, and why? Because Mandela gets things done, that's why.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:14 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've got a theory...
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2010


In a life of many travels, one of the most unforgettable experiences for me was touring Robben Island, and standing in Nelson Mandela's cell. His willingness to forgive still awes me. I don't know if I could ever have mustered such greatness of soul. And, of course, it transformed South Africa.
posted by bearwife at 9:47 AM on February 11, 2010


Maybe Mandel signed a deal with Bugs to end apartheid.
posted by empty vessel at 9:51 AM on February 11, 2010


Mandela* time for new keyboard batteries.
posted by empty vessel at 10:05 AM on February 11, 2010


I don't know what I thought this FPP was building up to, but it was not wabbits.
posted by brundlefly at 10:18 AM on February 11, 2010


From the fashion link: ...she traipsed down the hallowed halls of the provincial legislature

Hallowed halls of the provincial legislature? Seems that writer from the BBC lacks the slightest idea of what the Eastern Cape is all about. There is nothing 'hallowed' about those halls. The best thing Eastern Cape has going for it is the simple fact is isn't any of the other provinces. But I'm biased, I lived there, and rather enjoyed it.

If all South Africa had to worry about were rabbits on Robben Island, they'd be in fabulous shape. I talked with a friend there, yesterday, and he reported temperatures of 40 C (104 F, extremely unusual) and people dying from heat. I worry about the subsistence farmers and the health of their livestock.
posted by Goofyy at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2010


The cats kill birds and penguins which live on the island.
posted by PenDevil at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2010


Mandela makes a public appearance to be honored by South Africa's parliament.
posted by bearwife at 1:16 PM on February 11, 2010


A little off-topic, but my father spent much of his childhood on Robben Island - from the late 40s to 1959, just before the transition to a maximum security prison. My grandfather was stationed there with the Public Works Department and, amongst other things, helped to build the island library, of which he was the librarian for many years. I grew up regaled with thrilling tales of shipwrecks, dramatic storms, shallow leper graves, and unsuccessful prison breaks. (Nothing about rabbits, though.)

My grandfather told me that the prisoners assigned to ditch-digging duties were guarded by warders armed with assegaais (traditional African spears with long blades). During their lunch-break, the warders would often repair to the nearest shade for a nap - first handing their weapon to a prisoner to continue their duties on their behalf...
posted by tuckshopdilettante at 8:09 AM on February 12, 2010


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