Tokyo enduring jungle crow invasion

July 26, 2009 at 1:22 PM
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TOKYO, July 26 (UPI) -- A Tokyo official says the Japanese city has once again been overrun by jungle crows, whose population has increased by nearly 30 percent in recent years.

Naoki Satou, a Tokyo official tabbed with controlling the crow population, said number of the jungle crows in Tokyo has been increasing since 2006, when budget cuts were blamed for lackluster attempts to catch the birds, The Washington Post said Sunday.

"We were going through a transitional phase that year," Satou said. "We couldn't catch as many,

and therefore there were more crows."

During Tokyo's 8-year battle with the invasive crows, city workers have killed 105,392 of the animals blamed for damage to public and private property. Officials estimate 21,200 of the birds are still alive and well in the city.

The attempts to curb the jungle crow population in Tokyo has cost the city $5.3 million in extermination costs, the Post reported.

Hiroshi Kawachi, a Wild Bird Society of Japan official, told the Post that city officials now face crows that are too experienced to be caught in simple bait traps.

"The older, more clever crows never go near those traps," Kawachi said. "They are catching only young, stupid crows, not the breeders."

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