Well, we seem to have another theme going here at The Corner. On the contraceptive front it appears that a small island off the coast of Australia is experiencing a bit of a wildlife conundrum. A population explosion of koalas is threatening to divest Kangaroo Island of all its eucalyptus trees. The problem is that until the 1920's, when 18 of the adorable marsupials were brought to the island, there were no koalas there. Since they were not a part of the island's natural ecosystem, no koala-eating predators exist on the island. There are now over 28,000 of the little guys chomping away at a rate of nearly a pound of leaves per bear a day. Pretty soon they'll literally eat themselves out of house and home.
Of course the obvious answer to the problem, open season on Kangaroo Island koalas, has met with massive protests, so scientists have taken another tack...contraceptive implants. They have had great success with implanting a canine contraceptive between the shoulder blades of female koalas which keeps them sterile for up to two years. The process is completely painless, requiring no sedation, but is very time and effort intensive since koalas are arboreal beasties. It can take more than an hour just to get up into the trees where they spend most of the day sleeping. So the scientists, in conjunction with the Australian government, have been developing a dart that can be fired into the koalas' thigh that will drastically reduce the time, and thus the cost, of putting the Kangaroo Island koalas on the pill. Now I have to wonder just how they can tell, from dozens of feet below, which bears are female. Maybe it's the nightcap and face cream that gives them away.