The pigeons of the U.S. are in danger. Or, at least, this is what former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson seems to think.
Tyson has expressed his love for pigeons many times before, but yesterday, in a roadside interview at LAX airport, the retired boxer turned to conspiracy. According to Tyson, many municipalities have united to wage war against the messy gray birds, who are often referred to as “rats with wings.” The pigeons of New York, he said, are especially targeted for complete destruction.
While there is little evidence that New York and other big cities have plans to exterminate their pigeon populations, Tyson is correct about one thing; in many places, the birds are considered pests and steps have been taken to keep them from spreading.
In a 2007 report called “Curbing the Pigeon Conundrum,” NYC officials documented their effort to control pigeon populations using hawks. This plan ended abruptly when one of the hawks attacked a small dog.
This campaign against pigeons raises another question for animal lovers: namely, were officials also putting hawks at risk by using them to hunt in the bustling streets of New York. There is currently a growing hawk population in the city which the report calls a “natural resurgence” even though the Department of Parks and Recreation is actively conserving the hawk and falcon populations.
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