Lop Buri puts pigeons on the menu

Some pigeons, recently.
Some pigeons, recently.

LOPBURI: A district chief has clipped the wings of his town's pigeon population by paying residents to trap the birds and organising a cook-off to build support for the cull.

The campaign to go after hundreds of thousands of pigeons started earlier this week in a district of Lop Buri province — a region better known for its monkey menace.

"The number of pigeons increases four to five times each year, if we don't do anything the problem will get worse," said Plaek Thepparak, the highest government official in Muang district, who came up with the idea.

The birds were a nuisance and defecated on government offices, historical sites, temples and houses while ravaging local crops, he added.

"Before people can drink rainwater but now they have to buy drinking water because rainwater is dirty from bird droppings," he said.

Residents will get 10 baht per trapped bird, which will be transferred to a quarantine centre in a nearby province.

But cooking them up is also on the menu.

"We also urged residents to eat the dead pigeons but only if they are hygienic and cook them well," Mr Plaek said, adding the town hosted a "pigeon menu" cooking competition earlier this week with cash prizes.

The dishes whipped up included a simple fried pigeon, knocked back with a side of Thailand's classic papaya salad.

Two hours north of the capital Bangkok, Lop Buri is on the tourist circuit and is better known as a haven for monkeys, but even they are being outnumbered by the birds.

"There are about 3,000 monkeys but there are hundreds of thousands of pigeons," Mr Plaek said.

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  • cull: to cut - ตัด ปลด
  • defecate: go to the bathroom, poop - กำจัดของเสียออกจากร่างกายทางทวารหนัก, อุจจาระ
  • droppings: the solid waste matter of birds and animals (usually small animals) - มูล
  • haven (noun): a place that is safe and peaceful - ที่ปลอดภัย, ที่หลบภัย
  • hygienic: clean and not likely to cause illness or disease - ถูกสุขอนามัย
  • menace: something that causes, or may cause, serious damage, harm or danger - ภัยอันตราย
  • nuisance: something that is annoying and is a continuing problem - การรบกวน, การทำให้รำคาญ
  • pigeon: a fat grey and white bird with short legs. Pigeons are common in cities and also live in woods and fields - นกพิราบ
  • quarantine (noun): a situation in which a person or animal that might have a disease is kept separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease - การกักบริเวณ, การจำกัดบริเวณ
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