Tuesday, 21. October 2014
07. 05. 14. - 21:00
Chinese military officials have found a new way to scare off birds from an airport in the north of the country - they use monkeys.
The airport of The Beijing Military Region Air Force turned to the monkeys for assistance after having to carry out numerous costly engine repairs to jet fighters damaged by flocks of birds getting sucked into their engines upon take off and landing.
Technical officer Sying Su, 26, said: "Birds pose great danger to all air forces and it is a particular hazard every springtime around here. Lots of migrant birds fly from south China to north China, and they build lots of nests in the trees around about.
"In the past our soldiers destroyed the nests by shooting them, but it’s costly to use the guns and the nests can’t be destroyed completely in this way.
"Soldiers also tried to climb up trees to destroy them, but it’s too dangerous and this practice has been forbidden as costly and time consuming. The birds will quickly build new nests after the old ones are destroyed."
Since the beginning of the year, the so-called 'monkey solution' has been in play. Two macaque monkeys trained to destroy birds’ nests have been swinging from tree to tree on their seek-and-destroy missions. In the past month alone the two monkeys have destroyed 180 birds’ nests.
"This is quite efficient, economical, and does the least harm to the birds," Su said. "The monkeys are likely to leave their smell in the trees after destroying a nest, so if a bird’s nest is destroyed by a monkey, it will not nest in the same place again."
The monkeys require little in the way of feeding as they forage in the trees. But like homing pigeons, they return to the base at night knowing that fresh fruit and a warm bed awaits them.
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