Rome seagulls hunt rats, pigeons as coronavirus lockdown deprives them of human scraps

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The coronavirus lockdowns in Italy have pressured seagulls to “return” to looking reside animals for meals, in response to reviews.

As soon as described as “the dimensions of pterodactyls” by former deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, seagulls in Rome primarily survive off the scraps left behind by vacationers, eating places and bars.

Italy’s lockdown has saved individuals off the streets and companies closed for 2 months, depriving seagulls of their major meals supply.

To outlive, seagulls have began to hunt rats, pigeons and different small birds.

“They’re going again to being predators,” Bruno Cignini, a zoologist from the College Tor Vergata, advised the Corriere della Sera.

“They’re catching largely pigeons but in addition swallows and blackbirds. They’re additionally going after fish within the Tiber. Fortunately, they’re additionally consuming rats. Animals are altering their habits as we modify ours.”


Searching and killing will not be a very new development for seagulls. From time to time, they have taken meals straight out of individuals’s arms once they have the prospect, as Neil Fraser in Aberdeen attested to final yr.

“The seagull flew in from behind me,” Fraser, a supervisor on the Outdated Schoolhouse pub, advised the New York Instances. A seagull had swooped down and snatched his bacon-and-chicken sandwich from his hand. “The sandwich and the seagull have been each gone.”

Just some weeks in the past, a digicam on the island of Skomer, in Wales, captured footage of a terrific black-backed gull consuming a complete rabbit complete.

Rome has a infamous trash drawback, sometimes accumulating a lot rubbish that the town can not clear it out quick sufficient. The trash typically even rots.


Whereas the scenario is insufferable for individuals, it’s a haven for wildlife. Along with the unbelievable seagull inhabitants, Rome sees wild boars and coypu, a South American rodent, roaming their streets and sewers.

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