Gulls Attack Shoppers in Scotland
Seagulls have frequently proved themselves to be incredibly tenacious in their search for food. They have certainly learnt to link humans with an easy snack or meal and in many areas, they have become a serious menace. We previously highlighted a few incidents of gulls swooping down to pinch ice creams and snacks from unsuspecting tourists. But now we have discovered that gulls have even started to raid shopping trolleys in Elgin, Scotland.
Turf War in Elgin
There’s something of a turf war being underway at a retail park in Elgin. Gulls are pinching food from shopping trolleys and the humans are fighting back by filming the birds’ exploits. The short clip published by RM Videos below shows a seagull lifting a pack of bacon from a shopper’s trolley! The crafty gull cleverly waited until the woman concerned turned her back and then swooped in for the steal. The incident occurred in the town’s Asda car park.
The footage has been viewed thousands of times since it was posted and illustrates that there is a major issue developing.
Taking Action Against Thieving Gulls
Business leaders in Elgin have been working together to come up with a solution to the problem gulls. They have now approved a laser project which has been evolved to drive the birds out of the town centre. The first sweep of the laser is due to take place in the next few weeks. But the battle with the birds continues at the Edgar Road retail parks where the gulls can often be seen forming large groups on the roofs of shop units and on abandoned ground near the adjacent railway line.
ASDA Shoppers Warned of Thieving Birds
We understand that shoppers at ASDA have been warned to bury any foods which may attract the gulls at the bottom of their trolleys when they exit the store. But if the birds are prepared to take packets of bacon, what foods are safe to leave on display?
Elgin’s business improvement district (Bid) promised action against the birds last year in order to encourage them to leave the town in favour of a more natural habitat for them. Elgin City South councillor John Divers, who is a director of the Bid has now confirmed that the laser treatment has been given the go-ahead. This tactic has worked elsewhere but it remains to be seen if lasers will banish the problem gulls from Elgin.
The gulls have been causing problems for several years and local residents are now sick and tired of their behaviour. The birds moved in land in search of food and have progressed from scavenging to theft. Moray council had considered deploying drones to oil the eggs of the birds to prevent them from hatching. But the plans were abandoned due to lack of funds and because the local authority is not obliged to address the issue.
Signs have been posted in town centres and on residential estates across the region to warn people to stop feeding the gulls.