Barn owls to help Jhb fight rats

2014-09-30 17:03
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Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg has included barn owls in a R2.5m plan to fight a rat infestation, the municipality said on Tuesday.

Owl boxes had been placed at four schools in Alexandra, each containing four owls, mayoral committee member for health Nonceba Molwele told reporters.

Another owl box was placed at the Marlboro Gardens Combined school. Barn owls are the rodents' natural predators.

"In recent years rodents have become a challenge in certain areas of Johannesburg such as informal settlements and overcrowded buildings in the inner city," she said.

Jonathan Haw from Eco Solutions said one owl could feed on many rats in a month. Over 83 000 owls had been released into various parts of Gauteng since 1998.

The New Age reported last month that a one month-old baby in Alexandra had to go for reconstructive surgery after rats ate three of her fingers and part of her nose.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  environment

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