“Calculating” ravens are snatching meat and mini watermelons from Alaskan Costco customers

Raven holding crab in beak
Photo: Arterra / Contributor (Getty Images)

Birds suck ass. I’ve hated them since I was nine, when an encounter with a hungry seagull basically ruined my life. I was strolling along an old-fashioned boardwalk during my first and only visit to Disney World, and I had just acquired the most pristine butter pecan double-scoop ice cream cone. But before I could get in a single lick, a seagull dove beak-first into the cone, knocking it out of my pudgy hands and onto the boardwalk. The seagull dragged it away, and I was left empty-handed. Now, hungry birds are terrorizing shoppers at an Alaska Costco by stealing their groceries. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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The Anchorage Daily News reports that a Costco in Anchorage, Alaska, is besieged by meat-loving ravens who snatch items from shoppers’ carts. (Hat tip to Food & Wine for sharing the story.) The Anchorage Daily News spoke with several locals, including one woman who suspects the birds of grabbing a filet mignon from a four-pack she’d just bought after her husband “saw a raven in the parking lot with a steak in his mouth.” Another witness saw a raven fly away with an entire pack of short ribs. In a Facebook post from earlier this month, one commenter described the birds as “calculating.” One shopper wrote: “Had 1 trying to distract me while the other went for my mini watermelons.”

The Costco’s manager didn’t comment on the situation, but the behavior is apparently pretty normal. Fish and game expert Rick Sinnott told the Anchorage Daily News that ravens are known for their crafty—and choosy—behavior. “They much prefer—I would guess if I was thinking like a raven—a package of short ribs from Costco to half of a hamburger bun from McDonald’s,” Sinnott said. Just stay the hell away from my double-scoop cone, birds. Or else.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

fortheloveoffudge
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Ravens are amazing, cool animals. They’re one of the few bird species that have been spotted using various items as tools in order to get food. And they are seriously, seriously fucking cool.