As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Exmoor Zoo uses riot shields against aggressive cranes

Riot shields and police officers have been drafted in by staff at a Devon zoo to help them develop defensive tactics against aggressive birds.

Donated by Devon and Cornwall Police, the two decommissioned shields have been sent to Exmoor Zoo near Barnstaple, so staff can fend off violent cranes.

Curator Danny Reynolds said police were training staff to use the shields.

Staff have been kicked, pecked and hit by wings, especially during the mating season, Mr Reynolds said.

'Very territorial'
"Anti-social behaviour" from the birds, which can grow up to 1.5m (4ft 10ins) tall, has "been on the increase year-on-year", he explained.

The shields were donated after discussions with local wildlife crime officer PC Martin Beck.

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