Plague of mice ravages parts of rural Australia

Believed to have arrived in Australia with the First Fleet - mice are well suited to the country's often harsh climate. They can survive long periods of dry weather.

When the weather turns, they thrive and rapidly reproduce as food and water become available.

Local media reported that just one pair of mice can produce on average up to 500 offspring in a season.

Intensive baiting programmes have so far had little success against the infestation, and locals are hoping for heavy rain to drown the mice in their burrows.

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