Zoo Hiring People To Dress Up As Giant Eagles And Scare Off Seagulls

If you don’t have the experience for this job, try winging it.

Job seekers have been flocking to a listing from a zoo in Blackpool, England, seeking people to work as “seagull deterrents” by dressing up in inflatable eagle costumes and frightening off any gulls attempting to eat the food meant for the zoo’s human visitors or animal residents.

“Seagulls make a real nuisance of themselves during busy times at our eateries and also during talks, feeds and demonstrations that involve fish,” Ian Walker, Blackpool Zoo’s operations and visitor services director, said in an emailed statement to HuffPost.

Chief seagull scarer Jess Monks has been working in the role and gave an on-camera demonstration for North West News. The seagulls indeed seem deterred by Monks’ flapping.

The costumes look like a cartoonish, strangely proportioned version of a bird of prey. Walker suggested it’s the novelty of the outfit ― rather than its actual resemblance to an eagle ― that the gulls find off-putting.

“The costume is something the seagulls won’t have seen before, and as intelligent birds, they will naturally not like it,” Walker said. “The costume also makes a sound when the person is moving, which is something else the seagulls don’t like.”

The position is seasonal, and seagull scarers will be paid £8 (the equivalent of $10 in U.S. currency) per hour if they’re 16 to 20 years old and 10.8 pounds ($13.50) if they’re 21 or older. The zoo, which has already received interest from all over the world, said it accepts international applicants, though such employees “would need to fund their own travel and living arrangements,” Walker said.

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