Prickly situation on the runway: Air New Zealand flight delayed
The captain of flight NZ675 which just landed from Auckland, New Zealand, had spotted a hedgehog on the runway of Dunedin Airport. “I’m sorry, i’m going to have to make an announcement that i’ve never had to make before, there is a hedgehog on the runway”, was the announcement made by the caption of flight, according to passenger Arthur Taylor.
Firefighters were called to remove the hedgehog from the runway, before the plane could taxi to the terminal. A spokesperson from Air New Zealand confirmed flight NZ675 had a five minute delay.
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Invasive hedgehogs in New Zealand
European hedgehogs are considered an invasive species in New Zealand. The species is native from Western Europe and is first introduced to New Zealand in 1870 by the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society as means to control garden pests. Several additional introductions were made in 1871, 1885, 1890 and 1894. By the 1920’s hedgehogs has rapidly procreated and were responsible for drastically reducing the populations of small bird species and by 1950 the population of European hedgehogs in New Zealand were more prominent then anywhere else in the world.
The species is still considered an invasive pest in New Zealand in today’s economy. The Department of Conservation in New Zealand is actively advising citizens not to support hedgehogs to settle in their gardens, in hopes of putting a halt to the procreation of the species as they continue to impact the native flora and fauna of the island.
Article by Judith Dunkirk.