Feature

Plague of mice

The week's news at a glance.

Dongting Lake, China

Billions of mice are swarming across Hunan province, devouring rice paddies and clogging village paths. The mice were driven from their holes last month, when officials opened the sluice gates on Dongting Lake to relieve flooding from other waterways. The annual occurrence usually displaces thousands of mice, but this year, because of the major flooding, the swarm is many times larger. “They are like troops advancing,” said farmer Zhang Luo. Villagers have killed an estimated 2 billion mice so far, beating them with shovels or using homemade poison. Tons of mouse corpses are now rotting in the fields and must be collected and buried. The poison has also killed hundreds of cats and dogs.

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