Remember the brusque but ultimately golden-hearted transient woman in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York who helped Kevin defeat his adult foes with her team of loyal pigeons? Yeah, well, this story about a vigilante pigeon strangler stalking the streets of Cambridge, England is nothing like that at all. It’s actually a lot more like a Thomas Harris novel, but instead of people, the villain is killing verminous birds with a penchant for startling and pooping on unwitting pedestrians.

According to Cambridge News, the English university town is in the midst of a pigeon invasion. Take a minute to imagine what that would like, i.e. imagine small flying formations of pigeons with little aviator caps, goggles, and fur-lined bomber jackets. In an effort to minimize the general awfulness of the city’s high pigeon presence — in order to quickly clean up pigeon shit — the Cambridge City Council has socked away £100,000 to create a “rapid response” team of bird shit scrubbers (these deputized citizens also clean up other miscellaneous forms of urban litter, like gum and fast food wrappers).

These public works efforts, noble as they may be, have not apparently satisfied at least one disgruntled citizen who has taken it upon herself to solve the pigeon crisis by killing pigeons with her bare hands. According to Robin Aveling, manager of Campkins Camera Centre in Rose Crescent, the purported pigeon strangler has taken up violence in part because the city council has refused calls to cull the pigeon population:

We have a terrible problem with the pigeons in the street because of the fast food being thrown about in the road. But we have one elderly lady who has had enough and goes around strangling the pigeons.

You see a lot of things in the city but that is really odd. She told me she has asked the council to cull the pigeons but they won’t do it. I suppose she decided to take the matter into her own hands. When I saw her with a dead pigeon she just said, “I strangled it.” You just learn to say OK to something like that.


As an urban resident, it’s true that you really do have to pick your battles. On the other hand, an adult woman strangling birds in the street seems like a fairly horrifying problem that ought to be dealt with. Just to be clear, when “superheroes” start cropping in the real world, they won’t be solving problems like crime or political corruption — they’ll be actively berating garbage collectors for showing up too late in the morning, leading the push to ban McDonald’s from opening yet another downtown location, and, of course, wantonly murdering vermin.

[Cambridge News]

[h/t Boing Boing]

Image via Getty