Deafening noise from helicopters flying over Susan Knowlden's
mountain home in Trout Run, Pennsylvania, in search of shale gas
deposits, sent her skittish rabbits into a frenzy, she told
Reuters on Thursday.
“It scared the you-know-what out of them,” Knowlden said. “They
hit the sides of their cages and trampled the babies. They broke
their necks or backs or legs.”
Knowlden filed a lawsuit this week against CGG, the French
oil-and-gas exploration company based in Paris, one of many
energy firms involved in oil and gas extraction in
Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, a heartland of America’s
fracking boon. The company also uses helicopters that employ
seismic equipment to explore for gas deposits.
The helicopters fly "treetop level" overflights despite
assurances by CGG that a 1,000-foot no-fly zone would be
observed, said Tom Waffenschmidt, Knowlden's lawyer.
“My teeth rattled in my head,” Knowlden said. “They were less
than 20 feet above my barn.”
As a result, she said, she lost 168 of her prize breeding and
show rabbits - more than half her animals, she said.
Some of the survivors were unable to breed, said Knowlden, who
said the show rabbits' pure bloodlines go back 28 or 29
Her lawsuit against CGG in Lycoming County Court of Common
Pleas, Williamsport, seeks unspecified damages. Breeders say
setting a value on the animals is complex, but that a long,
clean pedigree counts for a lot.
The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment
from its offices in Paris, Houston, and Williamsport,
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