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AVIANO, Italy — Nearly 150 American and Italian volunteers gathered on the flight line Wednesday at Aviano Air Base to help clear rabbits from areas around the tarmac.

The noise of the jets taking off startles the rabbits, which often run for safety onto the tarmac, which could result in injuries to the animals or damage to aircraft.

During the roundup, the rabbits are driven by noise-making volunteers into nets and then relocated by Italian wildlife officials.

“Every year when we capture fewer and fewer rabbits, then it is a good sign that this is working,” Italian Lt. Col. Alan “Shaggy” Martinis said following the event.

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