But, of course, that is simply how it appears to us. Seagulls don't WANT to live near us. They just do so because we are so stupid and provide them with no reason not to seek the easy opportunities we give them for food. What would you rather do? Catch food out to sea or simply wait for some idiot to throw out their leftovers?
So when I see a news story like this it gets me a little annoyed. "Cull the seagulls" cry the townsfolk in a similar fashion, I expect, to how the townsfolk of Salem screamed "Kill the witch!" all those years ago.
Seabirds have shops owners in Shepway and Thanet in a flap because of their unusually aggressive behaviour. Some are snatching food out of visitors’ hands and from al-fresco diners’ plates, while others tear open bin bags, leaving streets strewn with litter.
Unusual? Unusual as compared to this former behaviour perhaps but not unusual to anyone who lives in the area. They've been doing this for years!! Crazy idea here: DON'T LEAVE BIN BAGS ON THE STREET!!
Giovanni Ioannou, of Le Cafe Ganmac, in Folkestone’s Sandgate Road, said this week that birds hang around his cafe “like thugs”.
He added: “If you don’t get out and clear the tables quickly, they hop up and eat as much as they can. I don’t like it at all. A gull got inside once, through the back door. It was as if the bird had planned it. They knock plates and cups off our tables and smash them. Too many people are feeding them. You see them getting scraps and they’re becoming tame. Something needs to be done.”
Really? So if you leave dirty tables, seagulls will come and eat at the remains of some messy persons meal?? What a surprise! Don't leave dirty tables and the seagulls will go elsewhere! They wouldn't come into town if people were keeping food safely out of their reach, and then those silly folks who feed them would not get a chance to do so.
The problem is also seen along the coast in Thanet. Gerry O’Donnell runs the Tollgate Kiosk in Ramsgate. He said: “A few days ago I made toast for my wife, set the plate down and turned my back. Seconds later, a bird bombed out of the sky and grabbed the toast. It’s frightening. One customer told me a bird snatched a full ice cream out of her daughter’s hand, leaving her in tears.”
A bird who steals toast and ice cream. Terrifying indeed. I'd be more scared of buzzards myself.
If we change our disgusting habits, of leaving our rubbish out in the street in bin bags (didn't Shepway issue bins for this very reason about 10 years ago??) and leaving food where they can easily grab it, then the seagulls will go elsewhere for food. A cull will not solve the problem unless you wish to eradicate the entire species, for if we don't change they shall simply come back again. A cull would simply mean less competition for the gulls that remained. It's the silliest idea I've heard in a while and I'm ashamed it comes from my home county.
P.S. The gull population is probably too large, thanks to our leftovers, so by removing that food source we would, in effect, cull the seagulls too (so everybody is happy except perhaps the seagulls)
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