Pushed to their limits by the incessant squawking of a seagull population that has exploded in recent years, Aarhusians successfully appealed to city officials to take action.
The city obliged, giving 16 hunters permission to hunt seagulls with powerful airguns through April 15th before the birds began their annual mating season.
See also: Aarhus declares war on seagull menace
There was just one problem with the plan: the seagulls were too “smart” for the hunters.
“There is a very low number of seagulls that have been shot. The problem is that the seagulls disappear when the hunters shoot. The method isn’t very effective because it can then take a long time before the birds come back,” city spokeswoman Annie Paabøl told Aarhus Stiftstidende.
Susanne Madsen, the chairwoman of Aarhus’s hunting association, told the newspaper that birds can sense something is awry when the hunters turn up.
“They are smart. And at the same time there security issues have to be considered when we show up with an air rifle. That means there are a lot of places where we can’t shoot,” she said.
Residents of around 350 Aarhus locations filed applications for the shooting ordinance but the programme has been deemed a flop and is unlikely to return next year.
Aarhusians have complained of “horrific noise 20-21 hours a day” around the clock from the seagulls, which also display aggressive behaviour.
“When I talked with other residents in August, when it was at its worst, people were in tears and desperate. Some could not go out on their balcony because of seagull attacks,” city dweller Inger Kristofferson told broadcaster DR earlier this year.