Sunday, January 11, 2009

Elusive Venomous Mammal

The Hispaniolan solendon waddles around one Caribbean island with its long, thin snout. This shrew-like mammal is capable of injecting its prey with a venom-packed bite. Just like many creatures in these regions, it is threatened by hunting, deforestation, and the introduction of competing species. After a period of dormancy in the media, the mammal was finally filmed in the summer of 2008, when it was spotted in the Dominican Republic. Neighboring Haiti is the only other country where this nocturnal, insect-eating animal can be found.

Dr Richard Young, from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, said: "My colleagues were excited and thrilled when they found it in the trap. "But despite a month's worth of trapping effort, they only ever caught a single individual."

He said: "They are still incredibly vulnerable and fragile. So it is really important to get back out there to work how how these animals are surviving." However, sometimes it can be difficult to focus on important conservation goals in countries like Haiti, where remedying political corruption takes the top spot on the To Do list. Here is a video of the captured:

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