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‘Hairy Panic’ Engulfs Australian Town

  • VOA News

This frame grab from video released to AFP from Australian television's Channel 7 on February 18, 2016 shows a man clearing out fast-growing tumbleweed from a home in the town of Wangaratta, 250 kilometres (150 miles) northeast of Melbourne.

This frame grab from video released to AFP from Australian television's Channel 7 on February 18, 2016 shows a man clearing out fast-growing tumbleweed from a home in the town of Wangaratta, 250 kilometres (150 miles) northeast of Melbourne.

It’s called “hairy panic,” and it’s taking over a small Australian town.

The prolific type of tumbleweed, known as Panicum effusum, has been piling up, nearly covering some homes in the town of Wangaratta, in the northeast part of Victoria.

According to Prime7 news in Albury, town residents are having to clear the weeds out for hours a day.

"It's physically draining and mentally more draining," resident Pam Twitchett told Prime7 news.

Residents blame a local farmer who they say did not clear his paddock.

Hairy panic, which gets its name from the long hairs that that grow on the edges of its leaves, is said to exist all over Australia and can be toxic. When it dries, it can form tumbleweeds.

A local vet told the BBC that the plants loses its toxicity when it dries up.

"The important thing is it's not going to kill people's dogs and cats, it just makes a hell of a mess," he told the BBC.

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