che disastro!

Italian Seagulls Are Wreaking Havoc on Alfresco Dining

Photo: LaserLens/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Birds will never be done terrorizing the human race, as is their right. The latest squad to join their ranks is a highly strategic pack of seagulls based in Venice who have brought mayhem to the alfresco dining scene at luxury hotels, stealing pastries and ribeyes with abandon.

Apparently these very aggressive and discerning gulls are snatching up all kinds of gourmet fare. One man had a croissant ripped from his hand just as he was lifting it to his mouth, while another saw his steak seized and lifted into the air seconds after the waiter took the lid off its serving platter.

Because seagulls are, for some reason, a protected species, getting rid of them is harder than you might think. They are so far undeterred by fake-owl statues, sounds inaudible to humans that the seagulls would find annoying, and even falcons. However, there’s at least one thing that puts the fear of God into a seagull: plastic water guns.

According to the Times, hotels are now leaving brightly colored squirt guns on the tables alongside the silverware and encouraging their diners to fend the seagulls off by shooting water at them. This seems a little confusing since seagulls spend most of their time near oceans, which give off a considerable amount of spray, but hey, if it works, it works. I’ve had my fair share of beach hot dogs robbed, so I can only imagine the pain of losing a buttery croissant to a flying rodent. Plus shooting water at pesky birds — or your fellow diners — sounds more entertaining than your usual canal side brunch.

At this point, hotel owners say that just leaving the water guns on the table is enough to deter the birds, who will just have to settle for croissant crumbs now. Maybe they can relocate to Paris?

Italian Seagulls Are Wreaking Havoc on Alfresco Dining