A pig and a plane

Well you never know these days what with the array of “emotional support” animals that people try and bring on a plane. But no, you are not likely to see a pig on your next plane but if you are flying into Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport you might just see a couple as you taxi in to land. That’s because the airport has a problem with geese. You see much of the Netherlands is below the sea level and so some areas, like the one around the airport, is swampy and lush and makes an ideal breeding ground for the geese. To make matters worse between the two runways there is a 500 acre sugar beet field which the geese think is pretty yummy.

They brought in the pigs right after harvest so they could chomp down on all the left over bits and therefore the theory is they would deter the geese because the goodies would be all gone. Schiphol is known for bird strikes and these geese can really be a nuisance. It was a goose that brought down the plane in the incident known as The Miracle on the Hudson.

The pigs (20 of them) are only there for six weeks, as an experiment. When they go home I wonder what their stories will be –

“So Miss Piggy, how was your trip out to Amsterdam?”

“Oh, you know. The usual foreign assignment stuff. Right in the middle of an airfield this time, hell the noise those aircraft make taking off and landing all hours of the day and night. No wonder I have bags under my eyes. The food was pretty good I must say. I love a good sugar beet root but the damn geese. They are such a nuisance, crap all over the place and make a terrible racket. I guess I should be quite grateful to have got that assignment. You know my second cousin got an awful contract out in Fukushima – she went out there to breed and after the accident the whole place was deserted so she met up with this tearaway – a Japanese Boar – also known as the White Moustached Pig. Yep, a real born again hippie. I don’t know what they are on but she is running wild. My aunt is distraught. Well then the humans came back and tried to take over the land again. Well we have all read Animal Farm right?”

(Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up – https://www.theregister.com/2021/07/01/radioactive_hybrid_terror_pigs_fukushima/)

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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