A few years back I wrote an article about animals helping airports keep wildlife off the airfields and out of airplane engines. That’s when I first learned about Radar, the official bird dog on duty at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers.
Back in 1999, the airport was the first commercial airport in the US to use a dog as part of a Wildlife Management Program. (Other airports used everything from guns and firecrackers to hawks and people flapping their “wings.” Seriously.) Radar was the second dog “hired” at RSW for the job.
Now, after 7 years on the job, Radar is retiring. The nine-year old Border Collie first joined the airport’s security team in June 2001 and was trained to herd, not hurt, birds. Now she gets to hang out at home, on the five-acre ranch of her handler.
Airport officials say “Radar was napping and was thus not available for comment,” but they’re sure Radar is looking forward to enjoying her retirement.
Photo of Radar courtesy Southwest Florida International Airport