NASA Attempts to Eradicate Vulture Problem

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NASA has addressed many problems in the year since shuttle Discovery last flew, and one involves vultures. During last summer's launch, a vulture struck Discovery's fuel tank. It did not cause major damage. But NASA has set up a "road kill roundup" program to clear as many carcasses as possible from the site in hopes of cutting off the vultures' food supply.


The space agency is guarding against another hazard besides foam. Last year, the shuttle Discovery had a close encounter with a bird. It was a vulture.


Entirely aside from the unpleasant symbolism, it could have caused a serious accident, so NASA convened a panel of experts to reduce the risk of hitting them.

LUDDEN: It proposed making the Kennedy Space Center a less attractive vulture habitat. The plan's called Road Kill Roundup.

INSKEEP: NASA removed raccoons, possums, armadillos, turtles, alligators, and other creatures that could become vulture food.

LUDDEN: The roundup involves top minds in wildlife management. Those offering expertise even included a specialist from Disney's Animal Kingdom.

(Soundbite of song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight")

THE TOKENS (Musical Group): (Singing) In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.

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