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Thief endures bummer of a day

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/08/2016

A thief in New Zealand had a bummer of a day after he broke into a car owned by a pest control company and stole 16 bottles of oily scent extracted from the anal glands of stoats.

The thief, perhaps noticing the box was marked as "chemicals," may have thought he had hit upon a treasure chest full of substances that could be used to make drugs.

The vehicle belonged to the pest control company Goodnature, which was researching whether the scent oil, which stoats use to mark their territory, could be used to lure and trap the animals.

The company was set to move its stinky stocks to an off-site storage facility when the car was broken into in Wellington.

Goodnature found out just how unpleasant the scent could be when a staff member accidentally squirted some in their offices, company director Stu Barr said Friday.

"It stank for weeks. It was in the middle of winter and we had the doors open, we had the extractor fans going. It wasn't pleasant," Barr said.

Stoats are considered to be a pest in New Zealand, where they were originally introduced to control the rabbit population.

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