It turns out that Prince Charles is doing more with his time than sitting around and waiting for his mom to die. Like any good royal, he’s got his eye set on protecting the Kingdom, or at least their squirrels. AS it turns out, 19th century British aristocrats thought that American Grey Squirrels would bring some much needed life to their estates. So, they dragged the fancy rats across the ocean and let them loose in the yard. The result of this action has been the decimation of the native Red Squirrel population which has dropped from 3.5 million in the 1950’s to under 150k today, and the explosion of the Grey Squirrel population, which is now upwards of 2.5 million in the United Kingdom.
To help fight the battle, Prince Charles has teamed up with the Squirrel Accord, a group he had co-founded three years ago. Together, they have been searching for ways to win the war on grey squirrels without having to move towards just shooting them.
What’s better than shooting them? Well, the rodents apparently love Nutella just as much as the average Instagrammer. It’s the hope of the Accord that if they spike some Nutella with oral contraceptives and leave it on traps around the country, then the squirrels will stop breeding and their population will decline up to 90%. They even think they’ve come up with a trap that will capture the Grey squirrels, but not mess with their red brethren or other small woodland critters.
Just how nuts is Prince Charles for Red Squirrels? Back in 2011, this is what he told The Telegraph:
“I put nuts in the lobby and leave the door open and the red squirrels come up the steps into the house. Very often you get four or five running around inside the house, chasing each other to get at the nuts. My great ambition is to have one in the house, I hate to tell you. Sitting on the breakfast table and on my shoulder!”