Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rome beset by starlings

Rome is beset by starlings, that invade the city center, and drive humans away.

European starlings -- birds individually small enough to fit in a hand -- are collectively a menace. They swoop and poop indiscriminately, clearing Rome's outdoor cafes, frightening children and, more recently, forcing an emergency landing of a Boeing 737.

In recent decades, Rome's starling population has begun to rival that of its residents, testing the patience of a people who take special pride in cohabiting with animals.

Canada geese around New York are numerous, never leave (consequence of people feeding them and not doing anything about getting rid of them, lest animal rights peoples accuse them of terrible crimes), and poop all over the place. Of course, our pigeons are legendary pooping pests.

Yet, get this:

Legend has it that the city's founders, Romulus and Remus, were nursed by a she-wolf. Today the city maintains strict codes on the treatment of animals, such as fining residents who keep goldfish in bowls rather than more-spacious aquariums

What can anyone possibly add to that?

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