A serial “pigeon strangler” has been prowling a historic street in Cambridge to rid it of the messy birds. Traders in Rose Crescent have told how the elderly woman, a resident of the street, is so sick of flocks of the feathered feral creatures making a mess she has started her own one-woman cull. Cambridge City Council this year set up a £100,000 “rapid response” cleaning team to target pigeon mess.
But it seems the team are not fast enough for the city’s “phantom pigeon strangler” who has taken the ‘by-law’ into her own hands - literally - and has been snapping the birds’ necks. The street is home to a cluster of fast-food outlets which attract the scavenging birds looking for scraps. Robin Aveling, manager of Campkins Camera Centre, said the pensioner has called on the council to cull the creatures but have refused.
He said: “We have a terrible problem with the pigeons in the street because of the fast food being thrown about in the road. But we have one elderly lady who has had enough and goes around strangling the pigeons. You see a lot of things in the city but that is really odd. She told me she has asked the council to cull the pigeons but they won’t do it. I suppose she decided to take the matter into her own hands. When I saw her with a dead pigeon she just said,“I strangled it”. You just learn to say okay to something like that.”
Frank Harrison, the city council’s safety operations manager, said: “Anyone who goes about strangling pigeons we would report to enforcement authorities. It is illegal in that it is harmful to wildlife. We would never condone such actions.” A spokesman for the RSPB said: “It is illegal for an individual to kill pigeons just because they don’t like them. A local authority can do it if the pigeons are causing a health hazard.”