China enlists monkeys to keep birds from spoiling big parade
BEIJING (AP) — China is leaning on the animal kingdom — including a squad of nest-wrecking monkeys — to ensure its military parade commemorating the end of World War II goes smoothly.
To minimize the chances of birds striking engines during the many airplane flyovers connected to the Beijing parade, state media reports say, the military has used falcons to chase away birds and a team of trained macaques to flush nests out of trees around the pilots' training grounds.
"We bought two monkeys in April last year from Henan province. After one month's training, the macaques mastered the skill of taking apart birds' nests," air force official Wang Mingzhi was quoted as saying by China News Service. Three more monkeys were later added to the team, which can dismantle up to 60 nests per day in return for rewards, Wang said.
Other air-clearing measures in the capital include bans on kites, balloons and sport pigeons. Beijing's airports will be closed for three hours.