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jus As 1945 Xr. Roe of ths Ur1vrsty~ W Far says ti-at ir~iAls Gon Squirre *emqrxe this year ca k-ppsoimtl my 10. He has so far kille 30 ubmra. last year he only kille a doea, This OW S*S~at., hih A prmiso cr Is Ulm ma for Apri.l 3.946 to ask Mr. DmAw to W an *mt date of "r e sa ag.a$tally of his kill A" Leool a. bies
Last July 8 I had what appears to be a rather unique experience. I had arrived on the Hillcrest Experimental Field of the University of Missouri about 8 a.m. and had been harvesting in a small plot of wheat for only a few minutes when I heard sharp squeals from a fence row about 50 yards away. Immediately starlings by the dozen, a few sparrows and possibly other birds began swarming around the source of the cries. I assumed that a snake had captured a young rabbit or bird and set off to persuade the reptile to find a meal less worthy of protection than a young rabbit, though it could have had a starling and welcome. When I approached the seat of activity, the birds retreated and then I saw a young rabbit struggling to escape-not from a snake-but from a rat. The rat seemed to have hold of the rabbit just in front of the right hip near or at the back- bone and the rabbit was apparently unable to move about, except in front. I leaped at once, aiming at the rat, but both rat and victim perished instantly when the heavy shoes landed. The rat and rabbit were about of equal size. By actual weight the rat weighed 170 grams (just a medium-sized rat) and the young rabbit 153 grams, but, being softer than the rat, had lost more sub- stance under the crushing, fatal blow. Thus, the rat and rabbit were nearly the same size, indicating that a large rat might successfully attack a full- grown rabbit. The rat was a female and was possibly suck- ling young, but certainly was not in a starved condi- tion. In fact she looked to be in good shape. The spot where the rat attacked the rabbit was several hundred yards from any building, and there was no rubbish heap anywhere near. This observation brings up the question: How much wildlife do rats destroy?-Luther Smith, De- partment of Field Crops, University of Missouri.