Moscow, Russia has a population of 10.3 million people. According to official figures, you're more likely to be attacked by a dog than be mugged there ... and that's not because nobody gets mugged. In 2007, there were 20,000 dog attacks in the city--8,000 of them bad enough to require police intervention or hospitalization.
Many of the dogs live in the subways, because if CHUDs knew nothing else, it was that the underground is a kick-ass place to attack humans. The dogs are so commonplace in the subway tunnels, they actually wait on platforms and will board trains with passengers to go for rides. Some commuters have told horror stories of running to catch a train, only to have an entire pack set upon them, which while awful, also gives us a kick-ass idea for an excuse the next time we're late for the office.
Back in the Soviet days, they dealt with the stray dog problem the same way they dealt with all of their problems: by rounding the culprits and shooting them in the head. But it's a different time over there, sort of, and they decided to go the more modern and humane route of sterilization.
Unfortunately for Moscow animal control, dogs are pretty good at not getting caught when they realize their balls are on the line. They've only been able to round up about 20 percent of the strays they'd need to if they want to make a dent, so the result is there is still a pantload of dogs roaming free.
These days many Moscowvites actually leave the house strapped with pepper spray or, even better, with sausages. Seriously, joggers will take sausages with them so they can toss the links to the dogs when they attack. So while it doesn't appear Moscow has solved its pooch problem, the dogs of Moscow have solved their human problem beautifully.
Ever since Europeans decided to turn Australia into a Vegemite- and Crocodile Dundee-producing wonderland, the continent has been plagued by rabbits. The rabbit population in Australia numbers in the hundreds of millions, causing anywhere from $100 million to $600 million in crop damage every year. It's led to the extinction of many native plant and animal species and, like a giant semi-arid Elmer Fudd, the continent pretty much has no clue how to get rid of them and often looks stupid when it tries.
The Australians have never been shy about shooting the rabbits, but when you're faced with a few hundred million of the things, you probably need them to line up in front of you about 1,000 deep with every shot to make a difference. Records indicate few if any rabbits actually did this.
From 1901 to 1907, some innovator thought building a rabbit fence would teach the little bastards a lesson. It's unclear if this person had ever seen a rabbit or was aware that they both jump and dig, which we're pretty sure are the two biggest problems any fence has to face when trying to keep something out.
Anyway, the fence took a total of six years to build and stretches for over 2,000 miles, which is pretty impressive. Also impressive is that they found rabbits on the other side of the fence as early as 1902, but still went ahead building the thing on the theory that there are no fence-related problems that additional fencing cannot solve.
In the '50s a little biological warfare came into play. A disease called myxomatosis was released on the rabbit population and estimates believe it dropped the number from 600 million to 100 million. Unfortunately that 100 million were the ones with a genetic resistance to the disease and by the early '90s, their population grew back up to around 300 million disease-proof super-rabbits.
Rising to the challenge, Australian rabbit control teams released Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, which can make the rabbits convulse, shoot blood out of their noses and die. This is the point when the rest of the world stood in awkward silence and said, "Dude ... we knew you were serious about the rabbit thing but ... dude."
Most people probably recognize pigeons as a pain-in-the-ass bird that seems to want to coat the entire earth with a slick layer of shit. And while that's disgusting and all, the problem is actually much worse than it seems: The acid in pigeon shit destroys concrete faster than weather and time ever could. This costs millions as buildings have to renovate rooftops and balconies.
As an added bonus, pigeon crap is host to a number of diseases that can be contracted by humans, a few of which can even kill you.
Once again civilized society demands we don't go with the obvious and direct solution (poison or, even better, automated flamethrowers on rooftops). No, we must go with a much more humane and incredibly convoluted method.
The solution has been building tiny bird condos in the middle of cities, knowing the pigeons will nest there. Then workers steal the eggs and replace them with fake ones. Pigeons, which are not particularly smart even for birds, don't seem to notice or care. Somehow, it works: the pigeon population in Britain has dropped 50 percent in four years, and now some cities in the US are trying the same tactic which we're almost certain came from a cartoon.
You can read more of Ian's stuff at ScenicAnemia.com.
Read about some creatures that are genuinely terrifying even when they're not ganging up on you in our rundown of The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World, and then read about some that are only terrifying once it's too late in The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You.