Washington nutria face death sentence - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Washington nutria face death sentence

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Capitol Lake in Olympia, WA is home to as many as 40 nutria, an invasive rodent species. (Source: KING/NBC) Capitol Lake in Olympia, WA is home to as many as 40 nutria, an invasive rodent species. (Source: KING/NBC)
Wildlife experts say shooting the nutria, rather than poisoning or trapping them, is safer for native species. (Source: KING/NBC) Wildlife experts say shooting the nutria, rather than poisoning or trapping them, is safer for native species. (Source: KING/NBC)
Nutria must be removed because they cause damage to the environment and displace native wildlife. (Source: KING/NBC) Nutria must be removed because they cause damage to the environment and displace native wildlife. (Source: KING/NBC)

(KING/NBC) – If you hear gunshots around Olympia, WA's Capitol Lake this week, don't worry. Unless you are a nutria.

The state has paid the U.S. Department of Agriculture $5,000 to shoot and kill as many nutria as the two-person crew can find.

There may be as many as 40 nutria living around the lake.

"They can displace native animal and plant species. They can carry diseases," said Curt Hart of Washington's Department of Enterprise Services said.

Hart said a nutria's burrowing can damage roads and bridges around the lake.

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