Zoo Decides to Hire 'Human Seagull Deterrents'

Gig pays $13.50 an hour
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2023 12:25 PM CDT
Zoo Wants to Hire People to Dress as Birds, Scare Off Gulls
   (Getty Images / witsawat sananrum)

"We don’t think there is a country on earth that hasn’t been talking about our vacancy for a human seagull deterrent," wrote England's Blackpool Zoo on Twitter last week, and that chatter hasn't ceased. It's all thanks to the Lancashire zoo's decision to hire five humans to dress in inflatable bird costumes and scare off seagulls, reports CNN. "We need to do what we can to keep the seagulls away from our main visitor dining areas, which is why we are looking for a team of people to join our Visitor Services team as 'Seagull Deterrents,'" the job ad reads.

The seaside resort lists desirable applicant traits: It's seeking friendly, energetic, and flexible people who are "comfortable wearing a bird costume!" (See the outfit here.) The BBC reports pay is roughly $13.50 an hour, with those hours being "variable" and "seasonal." If your interest is piqued, bad news: The application window closed Monday; the zoo says it received nearly 200 applications, including some from residents of other countries.

The zoo said seagulls have been harassing visitors as well as zoo birds, and other efforts to deter them—including statues and balloons shaped like eagles and owls—have failed, the Washington Post reports. A hawk enlisted to fly around the zoo was dive-bombed by groups of up to 30 gulls. "The costume is something the seagulls won’t have seen before, and as intelligent birds, they will naturally not like it," the zoo said. "The costume also makes a sound when the person is moving, which is something else the seagulls don't like." (More strange stuff stories.)

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