Thursday, November 18, 2004

Pink locusts swarm Cairo - die as they land

Jim in Cairo writes - "The pink locust plague has reached Cairo. They have appeared in large numbers in the streets and the Cairo weasels will have a great feast tonight. But these insects must have been eating their way through some countries' pesticide laden crops. They have mostly fallen down dead on the street for no apparent reason I can think of, apart from poisoning,

I had a mind to feed some to my hog as a treat but thought better of it after seeing them twitch all over the floor of the office. They are a lovely candy-pink colour though, which is surprisingly difficult to pick out from tree bark. The Reuters article has a shot of millions of them flying past the pyramids.

This is one of the about sixty that descended on to the office grounds and then promptly died.

See "Pink locusts swarm through Cairo," by Amil Khan and Tom Perry, Reuters, 17 Nov 2004.
"Swarms of pink locusts have swept through Cairo in scenes that recalled the biblical plague of Egypt. The swarms flew high above tall towers or swooped down onto treelined streets, where scared pedestrians stamped on them or ran for cover.

The flying insects arrived from neighbouring Libya after devouring the countryside in central and western Africa in past months. But locust experts said they were unlikely to wreak similar havoc in Egypt, where agriculture is a cornerstone of the economy..." More at Reuters webpage.

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