Officials in the Argentine city of Puerto Madryn have approved a plan to kill aggressive seagulls with hunting rifles, following a series of attacks on whales by the birds. Seagull populations there have exploded, in part due to easy access to open-air garbage dumps, and some of the birds have learned to peck out meat and blubber from surfacing southern right whales. In response, the “100-Day Whale-Gull Action Plan,” which was approved by the local government, calls for any whale-attacking seagulls to be shot down with air and hunting rifles. Proponents of the plan say that the aggressive birds are causing problems for the local whale-watching industry by driving away whales, or harassing them so much that they surface just enough to breathe through their blowholes. Environmentalists oppose the plan, saying the only way to reduce the seagull population is to close the open-air dumps and stop people from emptying fish remains into the water.
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