Zombie Mice who 'scalp' and eat albatross alive 'need to be wiped out'

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Stomach-churning pictures show how ‘zombie mice’ are “scalping” entire albatrosses on an island close to South Africa.

Millions of rodents are increasingly targeting the birds and their young, prompting scientists to give them the chilling name.

The terror is being unleashed on Marion Island, in the southern Indian Ocean between the southern tip of Africa and Antarctica.

It has become such a big problem that conservationalists are attempting to wipe them out.

Stunned experts have voiced their shock at discovering the predators were striking under the cover of darkness.

Andrea Angel, of Birdlife South Africa , told 9News : “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so gruesome.”

The large birds are being preyed on by ‘zombie mice’

 

Attacks on nesting albatross and their chicks have increased in recent years, and Angel said she was “revolted”.

She stated: “Ravenous with hunger, the mice on Marion began to attack the nesting albatross – adults and chicks.

“There are millions of mice.”

Although they normally eat grain, seeds and small insects, attacks on the large birds have now become commonplace.

Scientists believe the soaring winter temperature is to blame for more mice surviving, making them less discerning about what they eat.

The mice, Angel said, are “beyond starving”.

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Scientists are fearful that the island’s mice population is getting out of hand

 

Now experts are attempting to eradicate mice from the island, a task described as “Herculian”.

Bait will be distributed by helicopters, and meticulous planning is said to be underway to ensure a small number of them don’t survive and rejuvinate the island’s population.

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and BirdLife South Africa say they hope to rid Marion Island of mice by 2023.



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