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Geese to be killed to clear airways

July 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, July 10 (UPI) -- Federal officials gathered about 700 Canada geese from New York City's Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to euthanize them to reduce airplane strikes.

The geese were rounded up help reduce the number of emergency landings at Kennedy and La Guardia airports, the New York Post reported.

"We could not afford to sit back and wait for a catastrophe to occur before cutting through bureaucratic red tape between federal agencies," U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said. "We are finally taking action to help reduce bird strikes and save lives."

Bird strikes increased 28 percent at La Guardia and 53 percent at Kennedy between 2009 and 2011.

Perhaps the most famous incident occurred in 2009 when US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to land on the Hudson River off Manhattan after it was disabled in a strike by a flock of Canada geese during its initial climb following takeoff from LaGuardia. Everyone aboard the plane survived.

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