Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Singapore Takes on Crows; One Down, 34,999 to Go - New York Times

I'm always fascinated when Singapore makes news in papers around the world. However, this article from the New York Times on the culling of crows in our ultra-urban city state really tops them all for me!

"“Garbage bin! Garbage bin!”

The men with shotguns tumbled from the Land Rover in a crouch and trotted along beside it like marines taking cover behind a Humvee.

“Don’t let them see your gun, they know about guns!” whispered the leader, Dennis Lim, a 20-year veteran of this kind of thing.

He jumped from behind the van, whirled and fired, “pop!” But his prey — seven or eight crows sitting on a trash bin — were gone.

“They’re smart birds,” Mr. Lim said. “One of them saw us and alerted the others. He started flying and the others started flying.”

Mr. Lim, 54, is on the front lines of a battle for his country’s territorial integrity, a member of the Singapore Gun Club who has been enlisted to help reduce an infestation that at one point climbed to 150,000.

The club is one of the few places here that permits private weapons, though owners must lock them up before they leave. In 1982 the government asked the club to take on the crows, and Mr. Lim has been hunting them down almost from the start.

Now he is standing by for a new challenge, the possibility of bird flu and the need to secure Singapore against migrating birds, perhaps by shooting them out of the sky."

Read the rest here...

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