PARIS - It’s late at night, in a deserted Parisian neighborhood. A few furtive silhouettes can be seen in the distance, making strange movements, working hastily. They know what they are doing is forbidden by the law. They know they could get caught. But they are on a mission: the benevolent, yet criminal mission of feeding pigeons.
This new class of urban delinquents, called nourrisseurs (feeders), is starting to seriously annoy a majority of Parisians, who can’t help but see the gray city doves as mere flying rats. "They think they’re doing a good deed, but feeders are increasing pigeon overcrowding […] which leads to large concentrated quantities of feces and can damage public and private goods," says a Paris City Hall spokesperson.
The sometimes costly and time-consuming activity is also reprehensible: feeding pigeons is forbidden by the French law and can lead to fines for bird-lovers of up to 450 euros. But that doesn’t stop the flying rodent rescuers –mostly women over 60, although they are a very mixed bunch —from saving up their bread crumbs.
The issue is now being addressed in public hearings, and has led to innumerable studies, and the battle has recently reached a new level, as Internet users joined the fight: groups supporting – or in favor of eradicating — the members of the Columbidae family flourish all over Facebook. And we all know that's a public square where you can be hit by other kinds of droppings.
Read the full story in French by Caroline Sallé
Photo – AnnieGreenSprings
*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations