In praise of the mongoose, 1866.

[Found under: “NOTES OF THE WEEK.”]

About Rats.—A correspondent writes us as follows: “In your last issue I have remarked a paragraph on Snakes vs. Rats. It seems wonderful to me that none of our rat-eradicators, nor the inhabitants of these Islands, have ever alluded to a small animal called the Mongoose Cat (Mustela), or Weasel kind. Continue reading

We all know what happened to that old lady who swallowed a fly, 1896.

THAT IS THE GREATEST OF CALAMITIES.

Because of the great many calamities faced by the sugar industry in Hawaii, therefore some people think best thing is for us to import another animal larger than the Mongoose to kill off the Mongoose.

That is a great misconception, but this would cause yet even more calamities. Continue reading

Mongoose, “a general destroyer,” 1883.

[Found under: “EDITORIALS.”]

The Planters’ Monthly has lately been proposing the introduction of a little animals from India called the mongoose, as a destroyer of rats. He is a famous ratter, surpassing the cat or the ferret. He is described as a lively little urchin, about the size of a weasel, as having a snaky body, vicious looking claws, a sharp nose, a villanous eye and looks like “murder incarnate.” In speaking of his action in capturing rats, it is said that he crawls sinuously up to his victim until within easy distance for a rush, and then strikes with unerring aim, snapping the rat just at the base of the brain. The rat has not time even to squeak, so sudden and deadly is the onslaught. Wherever the rat can enter the mongoose can follow. Thus as a ratter this lively little Indian is incomparable, but the trouble is he will not confine his operations to what is deemed his legitimate business. Some writers have endeavored to save his credit as a poultry destroyer, but a naturalist, who has carefully observed his characteristics, says that he is a general destroyer, not only of everything under, but of many creatures over his size. When in a cage that sight of a small living creature made him frantic and whenever he escaped, as he sometimes did, he made a sensation in the poultry house. The mongoose is not content with maurauding forays in the yard, but he seems to pervade the house when domesticated. His manner for getting into objectionable nooks and holes is most perplexing, as for instance the leg of a pair of trousers or a skirt with the owner in them, quite come up to his views, as a desirable place for a roost or forage. The rat is unquestionably a great pest of the cane and rice planter and grain cultivator in all parts of the world. The rat pest was deemed so serious here some fifty years ago that an enlightened and enterprising Commisioner of the Hawaiian Government, sent in quest of Chinese coolies, deemed it a judicious venture in behalf of the agricultural interests of the Islands to procure a species of sanke famed as a destroyer of rats; but the Hawaiian people, whose sacred soil has been kept free from snakes and toads by some patron saint in influence to St. Patrick, conceived a holy terror of the snake, notwithstanding his possible utilities, and passed a decree that Hawaii would have no snake in her plantations. The destruction of rats in the cane-fields was hardly deemed a sufficient compensation to the Hawaiian mind for the probable presence every now and then of his snakeship in the thatch of the Hawaiian hale-pili. And we think that if the mongoose be as well understood as the snake, he will be as objectionable as the tempter of our first parents to the popular mind. This terrible Indian ferret is said to take a fancy to fasten on to lambs and suck away their very life-blood; and who knows if he may not ake a fancy once in a while to a baby in its cradle. Continue reading

Mongoose, where it all began, 1883.

[Found under: “NEWS OF THE WEEK.”]

Mr. W. H. Purvis, proprietor of the Pacific Sugar Mill and Plantation at Kukuihaele, Hawaii, who arrived in this city per Zealandia, after having completed a tour around the world, brings seven mongooses from India and Africa, and will introduce them on his place on Hawaii. Mr. Purvis has had an opportunity of observing just what the mongoose will do in its native home, and says that it will not molest poultry or come about the premises where people live to disturb anything, but has a perfectly insatiable appetite for killing rats. These are the first mongooses ever brought to these Islands and in all probability they will increase rapidly and prove very useful in destroying all kinds of small vermin.

(PCA, 9/29/1883, p. 5)

Mr. W. H. Purvis...

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XXVIII, Number 14, Page 5.

What may have seemed a good idea at the time…, 1883.

[Found under: “NEWS OF THE WEEK.”]

Mr. W. H. Purvis, proprietor of the Pacific Sugar Mill and Plantation at Kukuihaele, Hawaii, who arrived in this city per Zealandia, after having completed a tour around the world, brings seven mongooses from India and Africa, and will introduce them on his place on Hawaii. Mr. Purvis has had an opportunity of observing just what the mongoose will do in its native home, and says that it will not molest poultry or come about the premises where people live to disturb anything, but has a perfectly insatiable appetite for killing rats. These are the first mongooses ever brought to these Islands and in all probability they will increase rapidly and prove very useful in destroying all kinds of small vermin.

[One thing is true, they sure did increase rapidly.]

(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 9/29/1883, p. 5)

Mr. W. H. Purvis...

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XXVIII, Number 14, Page 5. September 28, 1883.

Import of Snakes to Hawaii? 1902.

Snakes are Allowed to be Imported to Hawaii.

THIS NEWS WAS REPORTED TO THE HEAD CUSTOMS INSPECTOR OF HAWAII.

It was thoroughly believed that a person or persons could not bring in snakes from foreign lands into Hawaii, but the head custom inspector received a letter telling him that there is no law prohibiting the import of this type of animal into Hawaii, and should it be brought in by a person or persons, he has not right to prevent the bringing of it ashore.

It is right for us to oppose this with what power we have. There are many pests currently brought into Hawaii, and we do not want to bring in others. Before the arrival to Hawaii nei, there were no mosquitoes here, and they could be up at night without their hands tiring out from constantly waving them off. That isn’t all, there is the mongoose that are eating chicks, and eggs, and we hear that a baby left somewhere by its mother while she was washing clothes, died because it was got by a mongoose which sucked all of its blood. There are also mynah birds, fleas, and many, many other pests brought into Hawaii after the arrival of the enlightened races into Hawaii, and here is another thing that is wanted to be open to a person or persons to bring into Hawaii.

If these snakes come into Hawaii nei, and they spread in the forests, we will not be able to let our children go out to those places without facing calamity. Not just the children, but animals will be in danger of being bit by these snakes. If the snakes are allowed, the time will perhaps come when lions and tigers will be imported, and we will be just like most of the lands of the world.

We want the beautiful things of the other lands, but the problems are what we don’t want. If they import beneficial things, we will happily take them let them free in our verdant fields of Hawaii nei for them to run about; however, if they are to bring in pests, we will stand and exterminate them when they step within the borders of this Territory.

[That was a close one! But lately, with all the budget cuts and the resulting lack of inspectors doing inspections, who knows what is being brought into Hawaii nei. Some things are too important to let fall to the side…]

(Kuokoa, 4/11/1902, p. 1)

Ua hiki ke hookomo ia mai na Moo.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XL, Helu 15, Aoao 1. Aperila 11, 1902.