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Crows devastate northern Okinawa pineapple crops

Date Posted: 2007-10-18

The crows are bold and fearless, and are destroying the lucrative pineapple farm crops before the harvest.

Flocks of 30-40 birds are attacking the 400+ pineapple farms in northern Okinawa, most of them in the Motobu area, destroying 200-300 pineapples a day. JA Okinawaís northern headquarters calls the situation serious, as few pineapples are surviving the feeding frenzy of the crows. Each farm has roughly 4,000 pineapples planted for the season, but JA says few have survived.

Making matters worse, officials say the birds are no longer afraid of human contact, often swooping in to devour pineapples even as the farmers are working nearby. Then donít even fly away when farmers try chasing them off. JA says farmers have covered each pineapple with a plastic bag, but thatís not stopping the crows either. They simply use their beaks to punch through the bags and eat the pineapples.

JA Okinawa says it is preparing to seek government support for a construction program to build greenhouses to protect the pineapple fields. Without it, JA says, the pineapple farming will be driven out of business.

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