The menace of seagulls on popular beaches in the United Kingdom has rung alarm bells in the tourism sector. The birds swoop down on unsuspecting Tourists who are enjoying their food, attack them and snatch the edibles. This has forced the tourism officials to hire two bald eagles with handlers who will defend popular tourist spots on the beaches that are attractive Travel destinations. Their responsibility would be to make the surroundings safe from seagulls that are scaring away the visitors that have an adverse effect on tourism.

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New Zealand Herald reports one of the town councils has deployed two bald eagles named Winnie and Kojak for a start. They rest on the arms of their handlers as they patrol the promenade of the resort and their very presence is enough to keep the seagulls at bay.

Use of bald eagles a first

Tourism, especially beach tourism, is always a revenue earner and authorities must assign priority to tackle anything that disturbs the smooth inflow of visitors.

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In this case, seagulls are the menace because they appear from nowhere and target beachgoers who usually relax with varieties of food. These attract the birds and lead to conflict situations with injuries to the people. Some of the attacks are unprovoked and hence scary for the families. The birds probably perceive the people as threats to young chicks. The famous Hitchcock movie “Birds” showed the dangers that birds can pose to ordinary people.

New Zealand Herald adds that the scheme of using bald eagles to scare away the seagulls is a pilot project. The effect is positive and has helped to assure visitors that the threat from seagulls is contained. Using bald eagles to stop seagulls is a first for any council. There is a certain amount of cost involved and hence it may not be a daily affair but the busiest times it will be covered. There are instances of some other councils deploying falcons in the past but none has tried bald eagles.

Precautions that can help the cause

Telegraph UK reveals some relevant wildlife acts pertaining to the gulls. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981is strict on any intentional act that injures or kills any gull. It is also illegal to damage or destroy any nests or their contents that are active. In order to ensure that there is no violation of the provisions, some tourism outlets have introduced bylaws making it an offense to feed seagulls.

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Such acts indirectly invite the birds. There are warning signs put up at prominent places to spread the message and raise awareness among the people. The introduction of bald eagles is a welcome move. Their mere presence on the beach has had an effect and the gulls are maintaining a distance. It is an eco-friendly way of handling the issue and the local businesses are happy because the flow of tourists will continue to improve.

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