11 Dec 2013 12:45 AM EST
-by Samantha Wilson, Assistant Editor; Image: John F. Kennedy Airport (Image Source: Eheik/Wikimedia Commons)
After five planes were hit by snowy owls in the last two weeks at Newark, John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey attempted to scare them away. But according to the agency, tactics like pyrotechnics and fireworks failed to faze the owls, which refused to move from the airports.
When their methods failed, the Port Authority was initially forced to shoot down the birds that threatened to interfere with plane traffic. But when concern was raised after the birds were killed, the agency promised to try trapping and relocating the owls instead. A total of three birds were shot at Kennedy airport on Friday and Saturday.
Previously, they did not have permission to move wildlife in the state of New York, but the Department of Environment Conservation has since lifted the restriction to allow relocation of the owls.
This is not the first time birds have been exterminated by the Port Authority over flight risks. According to the Daily News, over 1000 geese were captured and gassed near Rikers Island to eliminate the threat to nearby air traffic. Of those birds that aren’t captured by authorities, hundreds are killed near airports in New York City and New Jersey each year.
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