Rome’s seagulls hunt rats and pigeons as lockdown starves them of scraps

A seagull walks in front of Palazzo Chigi during Italian cabinet meeting in Rome ( EPA )

Seagulls in Rome are “returning” to their natural status as predators, hunting down rats, pigeons, and other smaller birds as the lack of humans on the streets mean no food scraps are to be found.

Italy has been in lockdown for nearly two months to slow the spread of coronavirus, since 9 March. All restaurants and cafes have closed and the capital’s streets have been devoid of the humans the gulls usually pick scraps of food up from.

Bruno Cignini, a zoologist from the Rome University Tor Vergata, told local newspaper Corriere della Sera the gulls “are going back to being predators”.

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