Missouri officials are spending $3.6 million to purchase a new helicopter to help fight fires, survey flooding and manage wildlife.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Airbus H125 is expected to be delivered to wildlife officials from a dealer in Texas no later than mid-June. State bidding documents released this week provided details about the purchase.
Missouri Department of Conservation spokeswoman Candice Davis said that it will allow the agency to monitor the state’s growing bear population and generate wildlife population estimates. After flooding, it also will help officials survey areas that can’t be reached by land.
The new helicopter, which can be configured to hold as many as six passengers, replaces a 1995-era chopper that was deemed insufficient for further work.