Officials in New York are to launch a gas attack on as many as 2,000 Canadian geese in an attempt to prevent a repetition of the incident in January when a plane ditched in the Hudson river.
The hunt, begins some time in the next week to coincide with the time of year that the geese molt and thus stop flying as frequently. Though officials have attempted to cull geese before from airport property, this is the first time they’ve extended that attack to 40 other city-owned and controlled properties such as public parks and water treatment facilities in a five mile radius. Smart geese would be best advised to get hold of a municipal map pronto.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg described the near-disaster of flight 1549, which lost all thrust after a collision with a flock of geese shortly after takeoff, as a “catalyst” to tackling the threat of birds to airline safety.
The project will later be extended to putting up additional signs warning the public not to feed (and thus encourage) geese, and to filling in a large hole on Rikers Island which attracts the birds in large numbers. There will also be a trial of a bird-specific radar system at JFK and the city will hire a second marine biologist to help further control the bird population around airports.
The birds will be captured and then killed at an off-site facility using CO2 gas, a method approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association to avoid unnecessary cruelty. Unlike some previous culls, all the bird will be destroyed rather than donated to food banks.
Of course, locating and killing avian pests in a major metropolis housing the Empire State Building is hardly something new to many Geeks Are Sexy readers: