Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

This story is basically To be published Guardian And part of it Climate desk Collaboration

In the darkness of the pitch, Jason Bullard held his rifle to his shoulder and aimed it at the object. “It looks like one!” She mutters it turns out to be a fuse box. Another candidate, again pointing to the gun, reveals himself as a rock.

In this town besieged by Armadillo, there are some suspicions of a momentary resemblance to the armored nemesis.

Bullard, an affectionate man in a camouflage shirt, with a beautiful voice and a remarkable beard, flew away without ever seeing Armadillo in the western bucolic corner. North Carolina For killing 15 of them last year. In the last two weeks he has sent eight animals.

Homeowners, worried about their lawns being torn down by newly arrived mammals, initially deprive Bullard of a sort of Armadillo Bounty Hunter, handing over $ 100 for each corpse he produces. But Armadillos has caused such a garden disaster that dozens of people around Sapphire, North Carolina, have now placed Bullard in a retainer, allowing him to roam around their property at night armed, hoping to shoot criminals.

He has learned the job in a hurry. The standard .22 rifles used by Bullard in the first Armadillo do not seem to kill them directly. One of the animals, wrapped in a strange, kangaroo-like hop, shakes a surprised bullard. Armadillos give a loamy gray color at night, a bright light is absorbed by their bodies, but also reflected in their eyes.

“It’s like alien hunting,” said Bullard, who is more accustomed to hunting wild boar. “We do not know anything about them. We cannot kill them easily. They appear unexpectedly. And their numbers have just exploded. “

To spot Armadillo North Carolina was, at first, incongruous. For more than two decades, the animal has been accustomed to baking heat in the dry, flat state of mammals in the state of Texas. There, they are seen as regular roadkills or seen at small-sized racing events where they are thrown off the 40-foot track.

Armadillo meat is eaten in Central America, and in small quantities in the United States, where it has been called “the pork of the poor.”

Sapphire, meanwhile, is located 800 miles and away from the world in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is part of a natural plateau where there is so much rainfall that it has created a temperate rainforest, where the soil and rocks are covered in fragrant algae between the vast fur and spruce. In the fall, the area is a fantastic riot of red and orange fall colors. There is even a small ski resort in the area.

When Armadillo was first seen here in 2019, Bullard received a call. “I just didn’t believe it,” he said. “I thought the woman had a problem with posam and alcohol.” But within a year, Bullard was spending his nights at a local golf course, speeding from hole to hole in the golf cart, killing armadillos on greens like the cross between Tiger Woods and Davy Crockett.

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