Man Acquitted of Aiding Rats

A man charged with attempting to thwart rat eradication efforts on an island off the coast of California was acquitted in July of the charge against him.

Bob Puddicombe, 52, stood accused of scattering an antidote to rat poison on Anacapa Island. National Park Service officials spread rat poison on the island in an effort to eradicate black rats. The rats are a nonnative species to the island and were threatening native species.

U.S. Magistrate Willard McEwen Jr. acquitted Puddicombe, finding that federal prosecutors had not provided sufficient evidence to convict Puddicombe.

The Associated Press quoted Puddicombe as saying, “I only wish the animals on Anacapa could have gotten the same fair trial I did.”


Calif. magistrate clears rat supporter. Associated Press, July 11, 2003.

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