MEDICINE HAT, Alta. -- The body count is rising as Alberta steps up its war on rats, including a plan to use snakes to eat the varmints.
Officials in Medicine Hat said as of Thursday 53 of the rodents had been killed.
Municipalities in the region are taking extraordinary steps to exterminate the rats to help maintain the rat-free designation Alberta has enjoyed since the 1950s.
Bylaw officers who usually relocate bull snakes found in the city will now take the reptiles to the landfill in the hope they will eat the Norway rats.
That's in addition to baited traps and high-definition trail cameras to track the pests.
Alberta estimates its rat-control measures have prevented $1 billion in rodent-caused damage over the past 50 years.
-- The Canadian Press