80 birds shot in Hilo to protect planes

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The US Department of Agriculture says about 80 cattle egrets were shot and killed in Keaukaha in an effort to protect planes at nearby Hilo International Airport. The department's state director of wildlife services, Mike Pitzler, says the birds were shot Monday from a boat on Lokoaka Pond.

Pitzler says officials don't want a "Miracle on the Hudson River" happening on the Big Island. That was a reference to a US Airways plane that splashed down in the river in New York last year after a flock of geese disabled the jet.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald says it received numerous calls from people who complained about the noise from the shotgun blasts and about the birds being killed.

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