Seagulls are divisive animals. For many of us, the flashes of white feathers and high-pitched calls are an essential part of any beach day. Their gregarious attitudes, fearlessness, and ubiquity makes them beloved amongst their fans, but also extremely controversial.
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Like pigeons, crows, grackles, and geese, seagulls belong to a unique club. The cohort of birds which are maligned by society have a few attributes in common. They are numerous. They are often quite loud. Some of them may act as agricultural pests or vermin which damage property or steal trash. And, most of all, they are much less afraid of humans than some people would like them to be.
For fans of these birds, the ways that people respond to them can be upsetting. While pest control is often a very necessary practice for sanitary reasons, bird lovers do not delight in seeing it carried out. That is, with the exception of the Blackpool Zoo.
The Blackpool Zoo in the United Kingdom has a major seagull problem. The birds often steal food from zoo guests as well as from zoo enclosures. This is why the zoo has devised a very novel potential solution to the seagull problem. The “Seagull Deterrent.”
“Seagull Deterrent” sounds like some kind of bird-repelling spray, but the truth is much much sillier. This is the name of a new position created by the Blackpool Zoo to bring its seagull problem under control. The Seagull Deterrent is a seasonal employee who will be responsible for keeping seagulls away from guest dining areas. Functioning as a sort of human scarecrow, the job listing specifies that the Seagull Deterrent will be dressed in a giant bird costume, in order to frighten the seagulls away.
The Blackpool Zoo is seeking candidates who are visitor focused, outgoing, friendly, and comfortable wearing a giant bird costume. Talk about burying the lede! In the weeks since the listing went live, some sources report that the Blackpool Zoo has received as many as 250 interested applicants. The zoo is hiring five people to fill this position, and the application officially closed on Monday, May 1st.
While it may be unconventional and a bit strange, we applaud the zoo for taking action in a manner that does not ultimately harm the birds in question. We hope that the position is filled and that the seagulls of Blackpool find somewhere else to get their snacks!