National Geographic : 1977 Jul
When rains returned at last to Senegal, ending a severe drought, crops prospered. So did rats, their bur rows leaving some farms "cratered as if by saturation bombing," one ob server reported. The country fought back. Rice farmers stand by with picks and shovels (above) as water is poured into a rat burrow in an irrigation dike near Gu6d6. When the rats come up for air, a thumping melee ensues. A farmer of Kassak Nort (right), swathed in a net he used to trap ro dents, holds rat tails that he will ex change for grain offered as bounty by the government. The pest fighters also set out poi soned bait, smoke rats from their bur rows with sulfur wicks, burn them with flamethrowers, and attack them with toxic gas. The battle isn't over yet, but the farmers are winning.