Wascally Wabbits Worry Miami
Miami International Airport officials have been told to hop to it and find a modern-day Elmer Fudd to take care of a problem that "Bugs" the FAA and airlines. Hundreds of black-tail jackrabbits have taken over the green space between the runways at MIA. And that's resulted in some "harey" landings and takeoffs in the past year. And although your average jackrabbit is no match for a jumbo jet doing 150 knots, the mess such encounters leave behind results in a major hazard to aircraft -- the roadkill attracts turkey vultures. A turkey vulture is a sizeable bird that can do a lot of damage to a jet engine. Since January, there have been four vulture strikes but none has been ingested by a passing turbine. There are now five full-time staff assigned to try to keep the rabbits and vultures out of harm's way with pyrotechnics, propane cannons and sirens, and to clean up the mess when they fail to do so. But the FAA says the only real solution is extermination and has ordered the airport to get moving. The bunnies and the airport coexisted peacefully until 10 months ago when work began on a new runway, destroying the rabbits' habitat and forcing them closer to the existing runways.