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Deer on Kahului Airport runway prompts additional fencing

An American Airlines Airbus A319 airplane takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va.
Saul Loeb
AFP/Getty Images

A reinforced fence has been installed around Kahului 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 said.

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.

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

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.

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