Spokane Parks: 'We'll listen to other ideas on Rodenator' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Parks: 'We'll listen to other ideas on Rodenator'

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Authorities at the City of Spokane Parks Department say they are open to ideas that could replace their controversial plan to fight a growing ground squirrel population but add that any alternative would need to be implemented quickly.


KHQ wants to know. If you do not agree with the use of the rodenator, tell us what you think should be done by leaving your comment at the bottom of the story. If you agree with its use, tell us why.


The Spokane Humane Society called on the Parks Department to end the use of the Rodenator, a machine which fills burrows with propane and oxygen before igniting the gas to destroy the tunnel and anything living inside.

The Humane Society called the device "cruel."

"We're not worried about having a dialogue with anybody, we think that's a great idea," said Barry Russell, Parks Director for the City of Spokane.

Russell says as many as 500 ground squirrels are believed to be breeding in the arboretum, so any alternative must be addressed quickly.

The City says the ground squirrels burrow into holes, eat tree roots and destroy wildlife.

Several neighbors in the area expressed concern that children could trip and injure themselves in the small burrows.

"If there's a group of people that think they can come in and provide a service of removal to another part of the state or something, that's fine we'll have that dialogue," he said. "The problem is it's dire right now and the mating season is starting right now and the 300 to 500 we're estimating could be 2,000 in the coming months."

Representatives from the Humane Society and Parks Department hope to sit down in the coming days to discuss possible alternatives, but Russell says the Rodenator will continue to be used until then.

Employees from the Parks Department started using the Rodenator last week and plan to use it for several more weeks until the population is controlled, according to the City.

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