Colorado

Feb 22, 2010 9:49 AM by Associated Press

Airport to start trapping prairie dogs

Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont is trapping and killing dozens of prairie dogs that have threatened funding for the facility.

In an operation starting Monday, trapped prairie dogs will be euthanized with carbon dioxide and donated as food for centers that care for injured raptors. Remaining prairie dogs will be exterminated in their burrows using aluminum phosphide pellets.

Airport manager Tim Barth says the trapping will cost the city $6,848 and the poisoning will cost $1,740.

The rodents had threatened airport funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, which said the animals' burrows posed a safety concern for pilots.

The airport tried containing prairie dogs with a $12,700 fence, but it wasn't enough.

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