bad son of a bitch
Ferocious wild chickens with “supercharged survival skills” have gotten out of control in Hawaii, the atlantic reports.
The island of Kauai in particular has become famous for its astronomical population of chickens. Wild roosters and hens roam the beaches, pecking the landscape and crowing all day. They have even become a local tourist attraction.
While tourists may love the birds, a good chunk of the locals really don’t, viewing them more as a pest. Some say the constant crowing disturbs the peace while foraging roosters and hens ruin yards and make it impossible to grow any food.
But unfortunately for them, the chickens are winning. After all, according to Atlantic, these are not just old chickens. They’re super chickens, and it’s likely that humans will still have a hard time getting rid of them.
As Eben Gering, an evolutionary biologist at Nova Southeastern University, explained to AtlanticToday’s chickens from Hawaii are descendants of the wild red jungle fowl that were brought to the islands by Polynesian settlers and the already domesticated chickens that were brought to the islands by European settlers.
Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, disaster struck. Two devastating hurricanes destroyed several chicken coops, leaving many of the domesticated chickens loose.
Over time, the DNA of wild birds was mixed with that of domestic chickens. The result? Ridiculously hardy creatures that thrive when around humans, and in some cases breed all year long as well.
“One of the reasons why the red junglefowl were domesticated into chickens and that they make good farm animals,” Gering told the Atlantic“It’s just that they were pretty resilient and adaptable to begin with.”
In addition to this natural resistance, avian creatures are also quite resourceful. Among a series of failed efforts and proposals designed to curb the chicken population, Oahu officials spent $7,000 to set traps across the island last year, according to the report.
The results were disappointing, to say the least. Over the course of several months, only 67 chicks were captured. For folks back home, that means officials paid more than $100 per clucker caught.
“They’re not the smartest birds, but they’re smarter than people realize,” Gering told the Atlantic. “Those attributes tend to be helpful in adapting to new environments.”
It is a difficult situation. After all, the chickens are really just trying to live their chaotic lives, and we happen to live in their world.
More on birds hitting humans: Angry Geese Are Defeating Humans, Scientists Say