Austrians Stare At Storks To Clear Runways

Austrian scares away an entire muster of storks by staring. Photo Credit: Associated Press/ Getty Images

By Bianca M. Caraza, Global Animal

Austrians scare away an entire mustering of storks by staring. Photo Credit: Associated Press/ Getty Images

(WILDLIFE) AUSTRIA — Earlier this year, the city of Zeltweg, Austria found itself invaded by a flock of storks. The birds arrived just in time for Zeltweg’s military airshow, Airpower 2011. The show was supposed to feature winged creatures of only the metal variety, but this group of storks decided to add in their own act. Due to the danger created by 27 large birds flying around during an airshow, the storks had to go. But how?

The Austrian army managed to clear the scene and save Airpower 2011 with a bit of creative problem solving — 30 Austrian soldiers were ordered to simply stare. Indeed, after offering food and decoys to the birds in failed attempts to lure them away, soldiers were told to stare at the storks. It appears little frightens storks more than prolonged eye contact.

Thanks to the innovative Austrian army and helpful environmentalists, the storks are safe and the much-anticipated air show went on as planned. Animal lovers worldwide can be grateful to the patient army and irrational fear of eye contact that all storks possess. Perhaps, in the future, animal science and observation will lead to more necessary and interesting solutions for other urban areas with dangerous animal populations.

For more creative solutions to animal excess in urban areas: Camels v. Carbon