Scientists Create Squirrel Contraceptive to Save UK’s Trees

It’s no secret that squirrels have breeding down to a science, and while humans can be encouraged to use contraceptives, try telling that to animals. Environmentalists in the UK are struggling to deal with an overwhelming onslaught of the tree-climbing rodents. The traditional method of dealing with the squirrels is a rather brutal and straightforward cull, but that doesn’t really work, because the varmints just simply repopulate the area in a short amount of time. Now, UK scientists just might have a way to solve the country’s squirrel woes through the use of a contraceptive that stops squirrels from spawning out of control. No, there aren’t any tiny rodent-sized condoms. Instead, the contraceptive is a vaccination, which is a more humane solution and potentially more effective. The vaccine restricts the production of sex hormones, which leaves both male and female squirrels infertile. Computer models show that the drug could completely eradicate squirrels in a given area, and as long as they don’t immigrate, the critters will disappear on their own. Despite being non-lethal, some people might think it’s cruel to annihilate a population through old age. However, our squirrel-loving friends have nothing to worry about — the vaccines aren’t permanent. The squirrels eventually get their sex drive back. So, now you’re likely wondering how the vaccine will be administered. The answer is simple…..and delicious: Nutella. The hazelnut spread, which squirrels go nuts for (no pun intended) — will be loaded into traps in areas the squirrels visit frequently. Since squirrels love Nutella so much, it’s an easy job for researchers to inoculate an entire population.