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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


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Pest-busters protect Albany population

By Jason M. Webb | | September 23, 2010

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When most people go to work, they do not think about coming across a snake, rat or bat in their workspace.

As the human population continues to grow in territories once held by animals, the chance of coming across wildlife increases, especially as they adapt to their human surroundings.

Here, many of the animals that infringe upon working and living areas can be poisonous, destructive or simply a nuisance.

“We are working and living among where they live, so we will always have situations where a person could happen upon an animal,” said Staff Sgt. David Holcomb, game warden, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. “The best thing a person can do is notify us to respond to any animal call.”

Holcomb said although snakes and bats elicit more fear than other animals in a workplace, there are a host of other animals that can cause damage to work and living places.

Raccoons and pigeons account for the majority of nuisance calls each year and raccoons in particular are known for rummaging through trash and creating a mess.  Pigeons, on the other hand, are a large problem at Maintenance Center Albany where they get into the facilities’ high ceilings and create an environmental hazard with their droppings.

Holcomb said the number one call he receives is for stray or feral cats and dogs aboard the base. Additionally, his office receives calls for many animals that are indigenous to the area including various snakes, foxes, rats and deer.

Holcomb and his staff uses various methods to extract unwanted animals from places they are not meant to be.  He has traps, baits and sometimes has to capture the animal himself.

“You never know what you are going to get when you trap or try to extract an animal,” Holcomb said. “It can get pretty hairy if the animal is scared and not aware of its surroundings.”

After an animal has been taken out of a workplace or housing area, it is either taken to a far off part of the base and released or taken to the local animal rehabilitation center if the animal is a stray cat or dog and is eligible for adoption.

According to Leon Matthews, Environmental Branch, I & E, it can get costly for the base if there are a lot of animals that have to be taken to the local animal rehabilitation center. The center charges $45 per animal for adoption for their services.

Matthew says the best way for the base to avoid paying for outside animal services is for people to be responsible for their pets. They should have them spay-ed and neutered to prevent an increase in feral population.

For more information on stray animals or wildlife, call the base game warden at (229) 639-5188.


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