Bosses on the UK’s busiest railway station have recruited a hawk to scare off pigeons following a spate of complaints from passengers.
Aria would be the first chicken of prey to patrol London Waterloo in 18 months.
There are 27 food and drinks retailers on the Community Rail-managed station, and many shoppers have complained about pigeons pecking at meals and leaving a large number.
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Latest TripAdvisor opinions of the station’s venues embody a warning about “a great deal of pigeons flapping round while you are attempting to eat” and an outline of somebody having to “battle pigeons for my meals”.
One other customer even recommended passengers ought to “convey a fly swat for the pigeons”.
Harris hawk Aria, aged 5, will likely be on obligation on the station twice every week for two-hour shifts.
She was raised in St Albans and has beforehand been deployed by London King’s Cross station and the Treasury to maintain pigeons away.
Jason Murphy, Waterloo space supervisor for Community Rail, stated: “Pigeons could be a actual nuisance for individuals utilizing the station. In addition they trigger lots of mess which wants cleansing up at some expense.
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“Aria’s work is admittedly essential in making the station a greater place for our passengers, whereas saving us cash on our cleansing payments.
“She’s a really laborious employee and we’re delighted to have her as a part of the station group right here at Waterloo.”
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Aria handler, Max Bell, stated: “Aria actually enjoys the setting at Waterloo and is delighted to be right here.
“She does a terrific job and sometimes likes to reward herself with a calming bathtub within the puddles that collect on the rain shelters over the platforms.”