Operation Cat Drop: Parachuting cats for malaria control

The American Journal of Public Health published a terrific account (hat tip: Steven Meshnick) of a bizarre event from the 1950s where:

DDT spraying to control malaria allegedly resulted in cats being poisoned in some areas, which led to increased rodent populations and, in turn, the parachuting of cats into the highlands of the island of Borneo to kill the rodents.

Of course, why not? Everyone knows the rationale response to a rodent menace must involve flying felines – and in large numbers! Another source suggests that in “Operation Cat Drop” some 14000 live cats were parachuted into Borneo. In any case I am indebted to Patrick O’Shaughnessy for his entertaining and meticulous research.

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1 Response to “Operation Cat Drop: Parachuting cats for malaria control”


  1. 1 barmak November 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Hilarious!


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