Friday, August 26, 2016

Maritime museum has recruited security dog to deter pooing seagulls

Bailey, a rescue working dog is the Australian National Maritime Museum's newest recruit. The border collie was hired three months ago to help the museum scare away seagulls which have been causing a mess on the wharf in Pyrmont, Sydney, as well as the vessels docked there.

"Normally when there are seagulls down here, [Bailey] will spot them and I'll let him off the lead and I'll say, 'Bailey go'," Adrian Snelling, dog handler and head of security, said. "He just automatically chases the birds." Mr Snelling said the museum had tried, unsuccessfully, other methods to deter the seagulls such as using water sprays and fake birds.

They decided to get Bailey after researching that dogs were routinely used in airports to scare away birds. He was formerly a working dog and was living in foster care. While the wharf has definitely seen an improvement in droppings, Mr Snelling said the sneaky seagulls had relocated their roosting sites to the top decks of the vessels where Bailey is unable to reach.

And staff were forced to issue Bailey with a mandatory uniform after he started taking his job too seriously. "He wears a dog flotation device, the same as what any human would wear on a boat," Mr Snelling said. "He has ended up in the harbour four or five times now from being overeager." When he isn't on shift, Bailey sleeps in the security control room and has been a "great morale booster" for the other staff, Mr Snelling added.

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