Photo: Passakorn_14 (iStock)

Update, August 6, 2019: In an effort to combat the crush of local seagulls who’ve been stealing food all summer, and apparently have “attacked toddlers” as well, Ocean City, New Jersey has instituted a program to release falcons, hawks, and owls to pressure the seagulls away from people and back to ocean-based foods. The program is intended to be non-lethal.

The locals are breathing easier, at long last. One woman notes that “I might be able to eat a whole funnel cake today.” Truly you can, without these assholes getting in the way of your carnival treats any longer. Hey, it’s worked before.

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Original story, July 23, 2019: No matter the scorn you might direct our way, the Takeout staff’s anti-seagull stance remains fundamental. Seagulls steal food right out of your hands; they cause fines over shit they started in the first place; and they’ll even falsely pose as other birds for public attention. Every website has its hills on which it will die, and for The Takeout, it’s the inherent failings of the seagull as a species.

The latest fuel for our anti-seagull fire comes from New York affiliate NBC 4, whose recent reportage on a slew of gull-related issues in New Jersey offers video proof of what we’re getting at here. Please click through to NBC 4, because you really want to watch this.

Not even the boardwalks of New Jersey are safe from Earth’s shittiest bird and its bottomless hunger. Plus, now they’re moving in large groups. As one woman points out, “They’re not afraid of anyone anymore.” While local food stands are being advised to use close packaging to combat the problem, and those nearby are told to not feed the birds—obviously—this will only do so much to curtail the basic fact that, as the locals observe, “The seagulls are getting more aggressive.”

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We do not know how to prevent this menace from taking over our seaside towns. We can only hope to contain it. Truly, as the NBC 4 report cements with an exclamation point, we are all being bullied from above.