The sounds of gun fire filled the air around the vacant Saturn dealership Thursday morning as several Southgate Police Officers attempted to exterminate some of the thousands of seagulls that have invaded the building. Police tell Local 4 the seagull problem has gotten so out of control they needed to turn to the state for help.
---Southgate police say the seagull problem has gotten so out of control they needed to turn to the state for help
"We were granted a permit from the state to use deadly force if needed to try and eleviate this problem," said Thomas Coombs, Southgate Police Public Safety Director. "We cannot take out more than 500 seagulls and we are only sacrificing some birds in hopes the rest will leave."
Tuesday night the city of Southgate sent Department of Public Work trucks to area with plows attached. But as the truck drove by the seagulls would scurry away, then land right back on the ground.
"The city has only turned to taking out some of the birds as a last result. We believe along with the state this is the most humane way to do this," Coombs said.
---Southgate police chose to shoot the birds rather than poison them
Southgate police chose not to poison the birds because they didn’t want dying or sick seagulls to be dropping from the sky all around the city.
"We want to keep this contained, we’ve heard some people are coming onto the property to feed them, we’ve put caution tape around the dealership so people know to stay out," said Coombs.
The officers did shoot 100-200 seagulls this morning. They started shooting around 9 in the morning and ended at 11am. Coombs told Local 4 their efforts are proving to be unsuccessful but they plan on coming back and the people living in the area are hoping police don’t give up.
"I live right around the corner, I feel like this is too little too late, they should have been doing this weeks ago, months ago, but I'll take whatever we can get," said Bob Sutton.
The city is hoping there will be fewer seagulls in time for the downriver cruise and police confirm a business is expected to occupy the vacant dealership in the next few months.