An Australian state government called for the army to be deployed against an invasion of toxic toads.
Battalions of imported cane toads are marching relentlessly across northern Australia and the West Australian government wants soldiers to intercept the environmental barbarians.
State Environment Minister Mark McGowan has written to Defence Minister Brendan Nelson asking permission to use soldiers based in the neighbouring Northern Territory to kill the toads.
“The army in the Northern Territory is greater than any other part of Australia,” McGowan told national radio.
“We’d seek the Commonwealth (federal government) to help us in fighting this terrible threat to native fauna in Western Australia.”
The toads, Bufo Marinus, were introduced from South America into northeast Queensland state in the 1930s to control another pest — beetles that were ravaging the sugar cane fields of the tropical northern coasts.
But the toads now number in the millions and are spreading westward through the Northern Territory, upsetting the country’s ecosystem in their wake.
Cane toads have poisonous sacs on the back of their heads full of a venom so powerful it can kill crocodiles, snakes or other predators in minutes.
All attempts to fight the spread of the toads so far have failed.