SINGER MARIAH CAREY WANTS TO HELP WITH GUAM’S BROWN TREE SNAKE PROBLEM

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By Craig DeSilva

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 29, 2000 – PIDP/CPIS)---American pop singer Mariah Carey has told Guam Congressman Robert A. Underwood that she wants to help dispel the bad publicity Guam is getting over its problems with brown tree snakes.

"This was pursuant to a letter that I had written to her two weeks ago regarding her comments in Rolling Stone," Underwood said in a press release.

In a February 17 Rolling Stone article, Carey said she had a life-long fascination with the word "Guam" and that she had wanted to kick off her world tour from Guam, but had also heard that "there are lots of snakes in Guam, which fall out of the trees" and that they’ve eaten all the birds.

In his February 10 letter inviting the star to visit, Congressman Underwood wrote:

"To Guam’s dismay, the island’s snake problem and its portrayal in the American mainstream media have overshadowed our island paradise. I believe that your visit to Guam can serve many purposes. Apart from launching your world tour, you can promote greater efforts to control the brown tree snake problem in our island, to preserve our native bird population, and you can learn about our wonderful island hospitality, which is greatly misunderstood by the American public."

The Congressman added that Carey has an interest in Jack Russell terriers, which are used to hunt down the snakes. In fact, one of her dogs is named "Guam."

"She offered to bring terriers to Guam; she offered to bring birds to Guam; she offered even to help fund the hatcheries which continue to reintroduce the bird population to Guam," Underwood said. "Her interest is, I believe, sincere and I think much welcomed."

The Congressman said Carey also expressed interest in performing a concert in Guam.

Underwood said he will consult with local agriculture and interior officials about possible and appropriate ways Carey might be able to help.

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