Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ripped from the Liberian Headlines: Giant Caterpillars Invade Grand Cape Mount: Chop down fruit trees, threaten police

This is the type of reporting I've only ever encountered here, with its wonderfully inaccurate, vague, and apocryphal style. From yesterday's Inquirer newspaper (emphasis added):

Caterpillars Invade Cape Mount Again - Chops Grapefruit Tree, Threatens Police Station

Caterpillars have again surfaced in Garwula District, Grand Cape Mount County after they were last discovered in Jewajeh Town, Tewor District.
The giant size caterpillars were discovered in Sinje Town, next to the Sinje Police Checkpoint after they attacked and chopped off the leaves of a tree close to the area.
According to the Police in Sinji, some of the caterpillars were heading toward the police station, but were burned to avoid infestation.
This paper was also informed by some residents of a nearby village that the caterpillars have eaten-up the leaves of a grapefruit tree and are moving to other tree crops in the area.
According to the Agriculture Coordinator of Grand Cape Mount County, Mr. Gboto Massaquoi, the caterpillars are not army worms and are not very harmful as compared to army worms.
He added that from the survey conducted by his office, the caterpillars were not in large quantity. He said a team of experts from the Ministry of Agriculture has successfully sprayed the caterpillars in the county and is no longer found in the area.
It is yet to be seen whether the insects will resurface in other areas in the county.
The imagery is hilarious and wonderful: an army of giant caterpillars invade a whole county, attacking a police checkpoint and chasing the police to their station, so that the immediate area had to be set ablaze like the Atlanta munitions depot in the face of the approaching Sherman's march. Meanwhile some villagers nearby report that a single grapefruit tree "in the area" had had a few leaves clipped.

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