Drones, Ferrets and M&Ms

ferret drones

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has come up with a plan to save the endangered black-footed ferret population. Numbering at less than 300 nationwide, these little guys are dying from the disease Sylvatic plague, transmitted by fleas that bite prairie dogs, the ferrets main food source. There is a vaccine available to prevent this disease in the ferrets and the USFWS has come up with a plan to get it into the ferrets.

Initially, the vaccine was hand-scattered via food pellets in the area where the ferret population was greatest in the state of Montana. Finding this effort to be overly time-consuming and really hit and miss, a call was put out for better ideas. Here’s what they have decided to do. You’ll love this, trust me.

The plan is to put the vaccine in peanut butter, which apparently ferrets love to eat. The peanut butter will be smeared all over a big batch of M&Ms. The M&Ms will then be loaded up into a modified gumball shooting device that will be attached to a GPS-enabled drone. Yes, a drone!  The drone will be able to cover about a 30-foot area at a time, carpeting the black-footed ferret territory with sweet and sticky portable vaccine candy. There’s nothing better than free food. I have two favorite sayings. Why not choose free food and why not choose free bingo?

According to reports, the ferrets will eat some candy on the spot. Then they will pouch some to take back to their burrows where it will be shared with all the relatives. Any peanut butter that sticks to their fur will be groomed off and eaten later. Is this not a clever plan? Who else wants to be the drone operator on this job? I certainly do!

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Beth Reid

I love to write and do taxes. Nature is my inspiration and technology is my format. I have four adult children and two grandkids that keep me happy and busy.

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