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From Atlanta to Chicago, Airports Turn to Natural Weed Whackers

September 17, 2012 at 10:02 AM | by | ()

Honestly we’re usually pretty focused on what’s going on inside the airport, as that’s where we spend most of our time. Sure we briefly cross into the outdoors while making our way down the jet bridge, but then we quickly find ourselves aboard the plane and up in the air. Well, it’s time to start focusing a little more on what’s going on outdoors, as there’s some pretty neat stuff to look at besides just planes taking off and landing. Like livestock!

To help combat the unwanted effects of nature a couple airports are adding a few animals to their payrolls. There’s always a need to mow the grass, but airports are turning to grass-munching animals rather than a landscaping crew.

For example, Atlanta has sheep doing their sheepy thing at one of the world’s busiest airports; the wooly critters have been tasked with chomping on unwanted weeds and grass. Apparently they enjoy the work that they’ve been doing, and they even have a taste for poison ivy—delicious. It’s a temporary fix for now, as airport officials eventually will crunch the numbers to ensure that this new critter crew is just as efficient as the old process.

Similar things are on the drawing board over at Chicago-O’Hare, as there’s now actually a job opening for a herd of goats and for someone to herd them here and there. Airport officials are hoping to find some helpful animals in order to maintain around 30 acres of open space that is usually kind of tricky and time consuming to mow with traditional methods.

These airports aren’t the only ones using a little animal power to keep the landscaping all neat and tidy, as spots like Seattle and San Francisco have done similar things in the past. ...And that's just the domestic airports!

[Photo of some other goats and sheep: mckaysavage]

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