The seagull earned the nickname 'The Pestilence,' and he became concerned that it was getting addicted to nicotine, given its repeated visits for cigarettes.
If you have been to a holiday destination, then you will probably see signs that discourage people from feeding the wildlife. While human food is not ideal for animals, feeding them also creates dangerous interactions between tourists and animals. Reddit user u/ingracioth had an intriguing story to share about a seagull they encountered at work who got addicted to nicotine. The post titled, "Stupid, but I have a problem with a seagull at work" has 4.2K upvotes and 475 comments on the platform. The individual begins the post by sharing that they work as a line cook at a popular hotel.
They occasionally take smoke breaks next to the dumpster during their work day. They write, "We get seagulls in our parking lot, it's a well-known restaurant, it's busy and tourists are sloppy with their fries." The individual suspects that many of the tourists continue to feed the seagulls even though it's prohibited. As a result, they share that seagulls "do not fear man or god" and are used to being around people.
On one such smoke break, a seagull came down and took the individual's cigarette. The individual thought that it happened because the seagull assumed it was a french fry, which was what tourists usually fed them. They did not give the incident much importance and went back to work. However, this kept happening with the same seagull. They write, "I know it's the same guy because he has a dark spot on his chest."
The individual aptly named the bird, "The Pestilence." Seeing that it kept happening, the individual expressed concern because the seagull seemed to be getting addicted to nicotine. The seagull kept showing up at the spot at the same time the individual took a break and continued to steal their cigarettes. They expressed concern because smoking was not good for the bird and cigarettes were expensive. The individual shares that they tried to scare the bird off but nothing seemed to work.
They inquire, "What do I do? Are there sonar weapons, such as a dog whistle type of thing, that I could employ?" The individual shares that they were essentially being "bullied" by a seagull. The same bird also stole a $10 bill from their coworker. The place they work at happened to be very rural so they did not have animal rescue services. Animal control simply "laughed" when they called about the problem.
They conclude the post by asking for advice and saying, "He sucks but I care about wildlife and he's probably too young to be smoking." People on the platform chimed in with their suggestions in the comments section. u/ThreeFingeredTypist said, "National Geographic says seagulls don’t like 'bright, scary owl faces on masks or balloons.'” Obviously, smoking in a mask isn’t gonna work, but I want you to try a balloon. It also suggested mirrors, wind chimes or hanging like an old CD to reflect the sun."
u/WyldVanillaDad hilariously commented, "Stealing cigs, then lunch money? He's going to take your girlfriend next. Seriously, though, the best thing to do is make him smoke the entire pack in one sitting, and then he'll get sick and learn his lesson (or get hardcore addicted). Just a thought, have you tried to get him hooked on smack instead?" u/TumorYaelle said, "This is the greatest thing I have ever read. Try talking it out with him."