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NYC to Gas 700 Geese Over Plane Fears

Avian collisions a major problem for LaGuardia, JFK
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2012 12:14 PM CDT
NYC to Gas 700 Geese Over Plane Fears
Two Canada geese commune together on a lake in South Russell, Ohio on Sunday, May 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

(Newser) – Yesterday was a dark day for NYC's Canada geese. Some 700 of them were rounded up and sent on a final journey to a poultry plant in upstate New York as part of an effort to curb the dangerous collisions between the birds and passenger jets leaving from area airports, reports the New York Post. And those incidents are on the rise: Strikes jumped 28% and 53%, respectively, at LaGuardia and JFK between 2009 and 2011, prompting the National Parks Service and the USDA to act.

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In a slightly cruel-sounding twist, the to-be-gassed geese lived at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Feds on foot and in kayaks gathered up the birds—currently in their molting season and therefore unable to fly—and put them in crates to be sent upstate. The fowl won't go entirely to waste; a USDA spokeswoman said their meat will be distributed to food pantries, which seems like a much preferred method of disposal compared to a previous one. (Read more geese stories.)

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