Employing Snow White tactics of making animals work for you, the People’s Liberation Army has dispatched various woodland creatures to help make sure the skies are safe for planes flying in Beijing’s upcoming and much-hyped Victory Day Parade.
The monkeys, falcons and dogs appear to have a hell of a lot better job than those chickens, bunnies and pigeons enlisted last week to find out if life can survive around the Tianjin blast site. All these critters have to do is scare away some birds.
While this strategy, might remind some of the infamous Four Pests Campaign during the Great Leap Forward that didn’t actually end so well, the important difference here is that the birds are simply being driven out of the air force base where the planes are practicing, not being frightened into flying themselves to death.
The PLA has good reason for its all-out offensive on birds. China Daily reports that the most common reason for flight disasters is bird strikes. The impact of a bird weighing 1.8 kilograms striking a plane flying at 700 km per hour is actually greater than that of a military shell.
The specially-trained macaques are the PLA’s heavy hitters. They can climb high trees and flatten nets in less than two seconds. They also leave behind scents that make birds decide to rebuild their nests elsewhere.
The PLA might just get a Guinness World Record out of this as well. “Using macaques to disperse birds has low costs and risks with high efficiency, and this is a first in the world,” Han Bing, political commissar of the air force station, said proudly.
Meanwhile, the dogs are more like auxiliary troops, frightening the birds to fly up in the air from the grassland surrounding the station where they can be harried away by trained harrier falcons.
PLA: 1. Birds: 0.
[Images via NetEase & China Daily]