Flesh-eating seagulls that attack southern right whales off the coast of Argentina are to be shot by police in patrol boats.
The birds have developed a habit of attacking the endangered mammals in one of their prime breeding grounds.
Seagulls off the coast of the Patagonian city of Puerto Madryn have discovered that by pecking at the whales as they come up for air they can create open wounds.
Each time the whales then surface gulls swoop down and cut away skin and blubber with their beaks and claws.
Aside from the environmental issues, experts also fear it could hit tourist numbers with whale-watching changing from a magical experience to something from a horror movie.
Whales are also changing their behaviour in response to the attacks. Instead of breaching the water and dramatically displaying their tails, they rise just barely enough to breathe through their blow-holes before descending to safety.
“It’s not just that the gulls are attacking the whales, but that they’re feeding from them, and this way of feeding is a habit that is growing and becoming more frequent,” said Marcelo Bertellotti of the National Patagonia Centre.
“It really worries us because the damage they’re doing to the whales is multiplying, especially to infant whales that are born in these waters.”
Environmentalists say the plan is misguided, claiming humans are to blame by creating so much rubbish that the gull population has exploded.
They say the only way to effectively reduce the seagull population is to deny the birds food by closing open-air tips around the gulf and stopping fishermen and a nearby seafood packing plant from dumping scraps into the water.
Embarrassed anti-terror police have apologised after they cleared an airport terminal in Hamburg, Germany, in a bomb alert over a box of kinky sex toys.
The pink and orange cardboard box had been left behind by a forgetful passenger in the airport’s Terminal 2. Police evacuated the building while bomb disposal experts examined the package with a robot probe.
But inside were a collection of saucy souvenirs from the city’s sex quarter, including sperm-shaped shower gel ,a penis-shaped lollipop and a heart dedicated to someone called ‘Mausi’. “We’re trying to trace the owner, but naturally he or she may be reluctant to come forward,” said a police spokesman.
“It’s regrettable that the evacuation caused so much inconvenience for other passengers but unattended parcels don’t always have such a funny ending,” they added.
An elaborate birthday surprise in Bielefeld, Germany led to an emergency police operation after a concerned member of the public called them.
Police rushed to rescue a man in a park with his head buried in a pile of sand, only to find a life-sized shop mannequin.
The kneeling dummy dressed in jeans and a shirt had a sign beside it saying, ’50 na und?’, (50 and what?).
“It was clearly a prank intended for someone’s 50th birthday,” said a police spokesman.
“But the person who called us was clearly convinced by it and called us in good faith thinking they were helping someone in trouble,” they added.
A bull in the mood for love damaged an Arkansas sheriff’s patrol car when it tried to mount a man who was leading the animal across a yard.
Police said on Wednesday that a Faulkner County sheriff’s deputy was responding to a call about a bull running loose when he saw the man slapping and trying to guide the bull.
As the patrol car drew near, the animal reared up and pinned the man against the vehicle.
According to the deputy’s report, the bull then “tried to mate with him.”
The bull eventually lost interest and followed a truck down the road.
The patrol car sustained minor damage, though no injuries were reported.
The bull’s owner says it was the animal’s first escape.
The officer advised the owner of the damage to his car and the man said he understood that he could be held responsible for damages.
When Chinese police in Shandong province received a call reporting a body floating in one of the province’s rivers on July 11, they wasted no time dispatching 18 of their finest officers to recover it.
As the police struggled to bring the corpse to the shore, rumor of the incident spread and a crowd of over 1000 spectators gathered, blocking traffic and preventing firefighters from reaching the scene.
Finally, 40 minutes later, Chinese police succeeded in recovering the body. Only, it wasn’t a body, but an inflatable sex doll. As the “body” was floating about 40-50 metres from the riverbank, it was difficult for the police to see what it actually was until it had been brought in closer.
After confirming that they had run around in a panic for nearly an hour over trying to rescue someone’s former plaything, the police presented it to the anxious crowd, who quickly covered their children’s eyes and walked away.
The city of Clearwater, Florida, could soon outlaw a terrible crime – sitting.
Sitting or lying down on sidewalks or other public rights of way on Clearwater Beach, downtown or in the East Gateway neighborhood could mean a $500 fine, 60 days in jail or both.
The sitting ban is among a flurry of new ordinances the City Council will consider Monday as part of its crackdown on homeless people.
The council also could drop the hammer on sleeping outside, panhandling and bathing in public sinks. Like public sitting, each crime would be an arrestable offense.
The sitting ban is one of the most extreme proposals in a city already known for welding shut public bathrooms, turning off access to water in public areas and discouraging donations to a long-running soup kitchen.
But city leaders say the proposed ordinances, similar to bans enforced in St. Petersburg, San Francisco and Seattle, will give police more authority to clean up areas known for attracting the down-and-out.
“We do have challenges on the street, and the public wants us to respond to those in a humane way,” City Manager Bill Horne said. “Our residents support us having a little more influence and teeth in our rules.”
City Council members will discuss the proposed ordinances during the Monday work session and could take the first votes on them at their regular meeting Thursday.
If approved, the proposals could become law as early as next month.
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