Deer on Maui airport runway prompts additional fencing

January 24, 2022 GMT

KAHULUI, Hawaii (AP) — A reinforced fence has been installed around a Maui airport after a deer blocked a runway earlier this month.

Vinyl fencing now overlaps an existing wood fence surrounding Kahului Airport to prevent deer from squeezing through, Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz told The Maui News.

The added barrier installed for an estimated $100,000 will prevent a “small kitten” from getting through, Moniz said.

Workers also cut brush growing along the fence to make it less appealing for hungry deer, Moniz said.

Tens of thousands of invasive axis deer roam Maui.

At one time, up to 700 axis deer were spotted around the perimeter of the airport fence, Moniz said, but that number has since reduced to about 300 as they move more north seeking greener pastures and water.

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Deer herds have also trampled trees and brush around the Molokai Airport.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige recently extended through March 7 an emergency disaster declaration for Maui County so the state can take measures to reduce and control the deer.

Weather conditions and unexpected delays in shipments of materials stalled efforts, prompting the extension, the Maui newspaper reported.