Sounds like the setup to a joke: Rodents have been discovered at the Hawaii state Capitol.

In fact, there is a rodent problem.

At least one large mouse has been spotted in the House of Representatives Accounting Office, which is located on the chamber level (i.e., in the basement).

There is evidence of mouse droppings, too, and nibbles on electrical wiring.

It’s not a Mickey Mouse matter — the House has asked the Department of Accounting and General Services to send an exterminator.

Circle of Life

Civil Beat first learned of the mousers from House Clerk Patricia Mau-Shimizu.

“We are having a rodent problem here in some of my division offices, which has been distracting us for the past week,” Mau-Shimizu said in an email Wednesday.

The House Clerk’s Office is also in the Capitol basement.

In an email, House Communications Director Georgette Deemer told us that traps were set but did not capture the mouse.

Deemer continued:

The Capitol, from time to time, has had mice coming into the building. We suspect that the current situation may have been the result of the vegetation being recently cut down around the Korean/Vietnam War Memorial causing the mice that live in the vegetation to scurry and find shelter elsewhere.

Also, I’m told that the more successful we are at containing the feral cats around the Capitol grounds, people are noticing more mice. The circle of life.

Hakuna matata!

Rats, Rats, Rats

Rodents are not strangers to Honolulu.

The Attorney General’s Office had a rat problem recently, but insiders say it’s now under control.

There is also the matter of a rat infestation in Chinatown markets in 2009.

As for mice traps and exterminators at the Capitol, let’s hope People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn’t hear about it.

When the Legislature was in session this spring, PETA overloaded the Capitol’s server with emails regarding legislation on an Oahu slaughterhouse.

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