14 Dec 2015

Cheetahs

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Cheetahs

The Atlantic tells us about airport pest control, South African-style.

This week, two cheetahs attacked an officer on a South African air-force base.

The officer was not seriously injured, and was treated for minor wounds on her shoulders and the back of her head. After that, the cheetahs got back to work.

Wait, what?

The cheetahs didn’t wander onto Makhado Air Force Base by accident. They were deployed there earlier this month as part of a program started in the 1990s that places cheetahs on military bases for animal-control purposes. The big cats roam the base freely, hunting small game that might run onto airplane runways from nearby nature reserves and pose risks to flight safety.

“As wild animals become habituated to noises from aircraft, they are no longer frightened off the airstrip at the sound of an oncoming plane,” explains the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center, which donates cheetahs to the program. Makhado is located near three nature reserves.

Read the whole thing.

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