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Operation Cat Drop – Wikipedia

Operation Cat Drop – Wikipedia

2024-01-15 10:44:26

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

UK air drop of cats into Borneo to fight rats

Operation Cat Drop is the title given to the supply of some 14,000 cats by the United Kingdom‘s Royal Air Force to distant areas of the then-British colony of Sarawak (right now a part of Malaysia), on the island of Borneo in 1960.[1] The cats had been flown out of Singapore and delivered in crates dropped by parachutes as a part of a broader program of supplying cats to combat a plague of rats.[1] The operation was reported as a “success” on the time.[2][3] Some newspaper stories printed quickly after the Operation reference solely 23 cats getting used. Nonetheless, later stories state as many as 14,000 cats had been used.[4] An extra supply references a “recruitment” drive for 30 cats a couple of days previous to Operation Cat Drop.[5]


The native home cat inhabitants had been lowered as an unintended consequence of the World Health Organization (WHO) spraying the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) for malaria and housefly management. This occasion is commonly referenced for example of the issues and options that will come up from human interventions within the surroundings, or of how unintended consequences result in different occasions extra typically, and significantly how frameworks equivalent to systems thinking[6] or “complete techniques pondering” can extra successfully forecast and keep away from destructive penalties.[7]

Operation Cat Drop was initiated to cease a plague of rats, which was the results of tens of hundreds of cats dying from consuming lizards that contained excessive concentrations of DDT. The lizards turned feeble as a result of DDT of their techniques, which rendered them simple prey. The domino impact began by the appliance of DDT is said in a Nationwide Institutes of Well being article:[8] One supply questions whether or not the cats died solely from DDT or from further pesticides within the meals chain, equivalent to dieldrin.[9] Dieldrin was utilized in Sarawak solely throughout 1955 and, as a consequence of its greater degree of toxicity, was discontinued. DDT was sprayed from 1953 till 1955. Moreover, there are a number of stories of cat deaths in different DDT spray places equivalent to Bolivia, Mexico, and Thailand on account of cats ingesting deadly ranges of this neurotoxin. In a number of of those instances, the cat fatalities had been the results of cats licking their fur after brushing up in opposition to a wall or different floor sprayed with DDT.

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Comparable initiatives[edit]

There have been numerous different initiatives involving delivering animals by parachute. Video footage purporting to indicate an aerial beaver drop, meant to enhance water high quality, appeared in October 2015.[10] The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources restocks its “high-elevation lakes and streams with tiny trout” dropped straight (no parachute) from an plane flying 100–150 ft above the water.[11]

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