Tesco Abandons Plan To Have Sniper Shoot Protected Bird Living In A Store

It’s hard out there for a pied wagtail. First of all, your species is in decline. Second, it’s hard enough to get a nice place to live, without meddlesome humans coming in and trying to shoot you out of your home. Good news for one particular pied wagtail living in a Tesco store in England, then, that supermarket officials have decided not to bring in a hired sniper to shoot it with an air rifle.

The wee birdie took up residence in the store a few weeks ago, reports the BBC, and spent its time flying around the aisles and eating crumbs. The wily bird refused to be captured, prompting Tesco to give up and apply for a license to shoot it this Sunday after the store closed.

That didn’t go over so well with customers and conservationists including Chris Packham, presenter for nature program Springwatch. He tweeted at Tesco asking it to reconsider, and the company responded that it was open to advice. Tesco now says it will look for another solution with the help of the British Trust for Ornithology, as Packham suggested.

Tesco confirmed the plan, saying in a statement that it would work on capturing the bird for the next several weeks:

“Our goal is always to release any birds which have found their way into our stores, while ensuring we maintain our high standards of hygiene. In spite of repeated efforts to free the bird including laying down traps, deploying nets and opening windows, we have been unsuccessful so far. We’re going to continue to try to release the bird over the next few weeks. We want to give ourselves more time to catch it and we will be liaising with different groups on how best to do this. Our position has always been that we want to catch it and let it go.”

The wagtail has its fans, who are bound to be relieved at the stay of execution.

“You rarely see a wagtail in the wild so it was a lovely to see this one here,” one shopper told the BBC. “It has obviously got quite tame and doesn’t seem to mind being around lots of people. I am glad it is not being shot. I can understand why it should not really be in the store – but I would be much happier if they managed to net it.”

Tesco calls in sniper to shoot protected bird in Norfolk store [BBC]

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