Sarah Palin's Parents Kill Rats in Retirement

Chuck and Sally Heath found interesting second careers as wildlife specialists.

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Many retirees would like to continue to do interesting work in retirement. Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's parents got part-time jobs as wildlife specialists for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chuck Heath, 70, a retired science teacher, and Sally Heath, 67, a retired secretary, travel throughout Alaska trapping or killing animals, often in remote locations. They sometimes travel for assignments to other parts of the country as well.

The Associated Press reports:

They've eradicated rat infestations, shooed geese from runways, and killed foxes that were keeping threatened Canada geese from nesting. In January 2002, they went to New York City for a two-week assignment that fit their specialty. Their job was to make sure birds and rats did not disturb the debris from the collapsed World Trade Center towers that was being searched by forensic teams for human remains in Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill. They used snap-traps to catch mice and rats and pyrotechnics to scare off the gulls. If the birds persisted, the couple shot them as a last resort, Chuck Heath told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Heath said he was happy to leave New York and get back to Alaska. He complained to the New York Times about the heavy traffic. "I'm a country boy," he said.