‘Shouldn’t eat in the street’ Residents react to seagulls stealing food in South Shields
People shared their opinion on South Shields’ seagull problem.
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Residents of South Shields have shared their own stories of the seagulls in our home town, after we reported that one had stolen a burger from the hands of an unsuspecting McDonalds customer on King Street.
Wayne Simpson, aged 56, who had his Big Mac stolen by the bird, has urged the council to take action and asked them for a refund of the £3.69 Mcdonalds item.
Wayne said: “It’s getting quite a problem. It happens all the time to everybody.” He suggested that the council invest in a covering of some sort to protect the people on King Street from the seagulls looking for food.
Many members of the public took the comments of our social media post about Wayne, to tell their own stories of seagulls stealing food, and their opinion on the amount of seagulls in South Shields town centre.
Samantha Jayne Bailey wrote: “Well if he gets a refund I want one for my Greggs sandwich back about 10 year ago.”
Jamie Glenwright wrote: “The seagulls really are a menace, very aggressive vermin is what they are.”
Tracey Crawford Bass wrote: “Seagulls are dangerous and a nuisance in this town.”
Dale Robertson wrote that the colourful umbrella display on King Street could be used as a covering, as he wrote: “Should put the umbrellas all the way down King Street, that would probably help, as well as people to stop dropping their food for them when finished.”
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While many people were on Wayne’s side about the seagull problem in South Shields, not everyone was sympathetic, and many found the incident amusing.
Louise Beattie wrote: “You eat food in a seaside town that has sea birds. Expect it.”
Sharon Hannard wrote: “That’s why you shouldn’t eat in the street. We never used to, our parents wouldn’t have allowed it.”
Joanne Richardson wrote: “Eat inside. Seagulls were probably here before us.”
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said: “We do have measures in place to prevent birds from roosting and nesting in the town centre area and we would encourage businesses to make adequate arrangements to bird- proof buildings where roosting or nesting is an issue.”
They continued: “However, they are currently a red list protected species which limits the actions that we can take. Under current legislation it would be illegal to carry out any form of cull or interfere with the birds, nests or eggs unless there was a risk to public health or public safety and, even then, could only be a last resort when other forms of deterrent have been tried or are impractical.
“Seagulls are opportunistic birds and will take food when it is offered or available. We advise people to take caution when eating out in the open and we have signage in place strongly advising people not to feed the birds.”