Crews are pitchforking dead nutria into front-end loaders on beaches in southern Mississippi.
An estimated 16,000 to 18,000 of the semiaquatic, rat-like rodents and other dead animals washed up in Hancock County up after drowning in Hurricane Isaac's storm surge.
A federal contractor, U.S. Environmental Services, will dump the bodies in a landfill rated to take household garbage.
Hancock County Supervisor David Yarborough says county crews tried to deal with a similar problem after Hurricane Gustav and many workers got sick.
Neighboring Harrison County has fewer dead nutria. Officials say county crews removed nearly 16 tons of dead animals from its beaches Saturday and Sunday. Supervisor Kim Savant says they were still washing up Monday.
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