2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 18 Apr 2003 17:26:42 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Carabao fuels debate
Saturday, April 19, 2003
Carabao fuels debate
By Oyaol Ngirairikl, and Katie Worth
ongirairikl@guampdn.com; Pacific Daily News; kworth@guampdn.com


Despite the use of contraceptive drugs and adoption programs, officials
have been unable to control the growing population of carabao on Naval
Magazine, so the Navy plans to send in sharpshooters to take care of the

Efforts by the U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and Guam's Department of Agriculture to curb the population of
the non-native water buffalo have been underway for years.

But the Navy's decision to kill the animals is causing controversy,
because Department of Agriculture officials think they should have a say
in animal management on the Navy's land, and because many Guam residents
are opposed to killing the beast of burden that they see as an important
part of their culture.

In a letter to Gerry Davis, chief of Guam Department of Agriculture's
Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Navy officials stated: "On
April 15, 2003, Navy expert marksmen will be responsible for culling
individual carabao ..."

The animals, indigenous to the Philippines, were introduced to Guam by
the Spanish and have no natural enemies here, according to Pacific Daily
News files.

The Navy letter calls the culling process a "humane method" meant to
assure the "herds will not outgrow their available food supplies."

Navy spokeswoman Lt. Thurraya Kent said the more than 300 carabao on
Naval Magazine have been tearing up plants, damaging fences and utility
poles, and wallowing in mud -- accelerating soil erosion that muddies
Fena Lake.

"Because of destruction caused by the size of the herd at Naval
Magazine, the numbers have to be reduced for the benefit of the island,"
Kent said.

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