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Trafalgar meerkats

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Everyone loves meerkats.
Cute, sociable.

Everyone hates pigeons.
Dirty, antisocial. Ugh, nasty.

However, meerkats are not people, and love pigeons.
Delicious, plump-breasted, fresh pigeons.

So, the solution to London's worst pigeon problem is to establish a meerkat colony under the steps of the National Gallery.
Not only will this attract extra tourists to see the cuddly critters and their anthropomorphic habits, it will rid us all of the avian rats that blight our daily lives.

Thanks Boris, just pop the cheque in the post - I'm a London council tax payer, so you should know where I live.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009

Pigeon - ugh. http://www.flickr.c...-a-u-l-/2544881856/
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009]

Meerkat - ahh http://www.friedman...x10%20300%20dpi.htm
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009]

Trafalgar Square infestation, and vicious avine rat attack. http://www.bbc.co.u...geons_gallery.shtml
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009]

If meerkats don't work out http://www.youtube....?v=T569Z8t8ZA0&NR=1
[shudderprose, Mar 29 2009]

Artist's impression http://www.london.g...nth/plinth/emin.jsp
[coprocephalous, Mar 30 2009]

The Roman "War pig" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_pig
"A burning pig cannot be easily controlled" [marked-for-tagline] [coprocephalous, Mar 30 2009]

Compare the Meerkat http://www.comparethemeerkat.com/
Possibly one of the best and most elaborate bits of marketing I've seen of late. [wagster, Mar 30 2009]

Nelson's Column? Pah! http://www.youtube....watch?v=N495wu2Dprg
NSFW (probably) [coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009]

What about Parakeets? http://www.milkandc...link/154340/detail/
[Dub, Mar 31 2009]

(?) A few years ago a m...them away in a box. Man taking pigeons away in a box [not_morrison_rm, Mar 05 2011]

Pigeon poem http://www.youtube....KZQ&feature=related
From "C'est arrivé près de chez vous" , aka, Man Bites Dog. [django, Mar 05 2011]

Pigeon song http://www.youtube....watch?v=yhuMLpdnOjY
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 05 2011]

[link]






       The National Gallery is on the north side of Trafalgar Square, a notorious pigeon haunt, and hence a convenient spot for the meerkat colony.

//I live in the US //
You'll get no sympathy from me.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       Don't meerkats dig a lot?
bungston, Mar 29 2009
  

       //the right to bear arms has been reserved for me.//
Well, I suppose if you *actually* need a well-regulated militia...
Besides, you can take 'em out with an airgun or shotgun, both still perfectly legal here.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       Meerkats survive fine in the UK - there's a colony in Battersea zoo, only a few miles from Trafalgar Square.
There are very few lizards, large insects, plants or snakes in Trafalgar Square, so I think the meerkats will adapt to their new environment and diet pretty quickly.

A two kilo pigeon? Are you quite mad?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       //everyone hates pigeons// that's a pretty sweeping untruth.
po, Mar 29 2009
  

       But, as sweeping (alleged) untruths go, it's pretty universal.
C'mon [po], meerkats (aaah! Coochy-coo!), or pigeons (ugh! gerroff!)?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       I love pigeons. Especially those huge honking ones they have in Texas. Good God they're as big as a brick and as heavy as a kite. Oh you know what I mean...Just kiddin...   

       (Sorry absinthe I really do love your idea actually. It's just that I like pigeons too.)
blissmiss, Mar 29 2009
  

       Please, don't get me wrong, I love pigeons too.
Why, only yesterday for lunch I...oh, *that* kind of "love".

//Don't meerkats dig a lot?// Not a problem - the whole area is paved.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       //Hey wait, if the whole area is paved//
Don't be silly, they live in the little lawn bit out in the front of the gallery, and under the steps.
Haven't you been following this?

//I like pigeons//
OK, so you and [po].
Anyone else?
Nope?
Thought not.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       the thing with pigeons is that they are victims of their own success. if there were one breeding pair in the whole UK, then Bill Oddie et al would be raising money for their survival.   

       pigeons, poor things, do tend to thrive even when they are standing around in the own 1/2 square foot of personal space usually up to their poor acid eaten ankles in their own shit.   

       however the ones that have the nicer homes tend to be cleaner (I have a picture on flickr of them bathing), they are friendly trusting little souls that are bullied (even eaten) by other bigger birds. they are intelligent, have amazing vibrant colours in their plumage, have the ability to follow motorways in order to navigate their way home, they are skilful fliers and helped humans historically in various ways.   

       and yes in hundreds of years, we have eaten them and valued their feathers.
po, Mar 29 2009
  

       //the thing with pigeons is that they are victims of their own success//
So, you're saying they're a bit like bankers?
Even more reason to anihilate 'em.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       I love pigeons too.
zeno, Mar 29 2009
  

       bankers aint victims.
po, Mar 29 2009
  

       What am I invisible here? I said...I LOVE PIGEONS.
blissmiss, Mar 29 2009
  

       //bankers aint victims//
Not yet.

//Little bastards keep crawling into vehicles' undercarriages and chewing up the lines and cables//
We have foxes for that.
They're next.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       //when a car approaches and honks it's horn, the damn cat just sits there and looks at //
Breed like rabbits, act like rabbits.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 29 2009
  

       [po]//victims of their own success// Don't you mean opportunists of our uncleanliness? They're originally cliff-dwelling beasts that have taken to our buildings and structures and added nothing but guano!
Dub, Mar 29 2009
  

       //added nothing but guano// google pigeons and WW2
po, Mar 29 2009
  

       I like pigeons too. They are gentle, loyal creatures that bring much happiness to those who keep them.
xenzag, Mar 29 2009
  

       //pigeons and WW2// Oh yeah! They strapped themselves into those bombs and pecked at a target presented and dropped themselves behind enemy lines... because it was a good idea and had nothing to do with animal abuse! Brave souls! I can't help thinking of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines trying to Stop That Pigeon. {Bags I'm Klunk}
Dub, Mar 29 2009
  

       [xenzag] The wretched creatures give their caring owners Avian Alveolitis (Pigeon Fancier's Lung), too.
Dub, Mar 29 2009
  

       [Awol] Bake me a pie!
Dub, Mar 29 2009
  

       Setting the pigeon issue to one side, I think I'd be a bit spooked by a wall of eyeballing meerkats every time I visited the gallery.
Nelipot, Mar 30 2009
  

       any pet necessitates careful hygiene routines, dub.
po, Mar 30 2009
  

       ////google pigeons and WW2////
"lightweight high-protein emergency rations", "biological warfare", "peregrine falcons used to intercept German 'spy' pigeons"...

//any pet necessitates careful hygiene //
Particularly heavy ones.
coprocephalous, Mar 30 2009
  

       Makes careful note of pigeon haters, then retreats to lie in wait in long grass... I also like meerkats, but I bet they know how to give you a good bite if you mess with them.
xenzag, Mar 30 2009
  

       Because of the film "Mary Poppins" people specifically come to Trafalgar Square to feed the pigeons so getting rid of them completely could be a recipe for tourism disaster.   

       Near to where I work is a colony of Meerkats that I often watch during my lunch hour and they are very *wary* of birds, keeping a constant look-out for them. This a probably a very good method of ensuring that pigeons would be closely watched but the eating is a bit optimistic.   

       Maybe you would have more success if you armed them like they arm bears in the States, due their second amendment.
Aristotle, Mar 30 2009
  

       //Because of the film "Mary Poppins" people specifically come to Trafalgar Square to feed the pigeons//
Which just goes to show how little attention people pay, because the pigeon woman was outside St Paul's Cathedral (check the lyrics), in the City of London, not Westminster. Or possibly St Paul's Covent Garden (Right, feed pigeons at a fruit and veg market, yeah, that'd be popular), but either way, most certainly not Trafalgar Sq.
coprocephalous, Mar 30 2009
  

       Increase tourism?! Are you quite mad? Why in the world would we want to INCREASE the number of tourists in the west end? Some of us do have to work here you know!   

       Can we come up with some way to reduce the number of red carpet premiere's in Leicester Square as well. They're a bit like pigeons. They look very pretty but there's just too many of them now. Perhaps the meerkats will scare them away?
theleopard, Mar 30 2009
  

       //Perhaps the meerkats will scare them away//
Well, if [theleopard] doesn't scare 'em off, I doubt a few itty-bitty meerkats will.
coprocephalous, Mar 30 2009
  

       Maybe the Anarchists will eat them on Wednesday between courses of Banker and Politician.   

       On a separate thought, with a heritage going back to the Roman "War Pig", a squadron of incendiary riot pigeons might help break-up groups of demo-i-mean-rioters.
zen_tom, Mar 30 2009
  

       I'm surprised nobody is concerned with the environmental impact of introducing meerkats into Trafalgar Sq.
A delicately balanced ecosystem probably exists between the pigeons and crisps, burger king fries and stale bread that accumulates daily around the column. If the meerkats were to rid us of the pigeon population, we'd be left with a square full of fast food and pellet sized droppings.
An alternative scenario might be that the meerkats compete for the same food source as the pigeons (being closer to the ground and more street wise may give them an advantage here), drive them out of Westminster and leave us with a scourge of rabid meerkats.
Trafalgar pythons next?
shudderprose, Mar 30 2009
  

       I thought we'd settled on leopards...
theleopard, Mar 30 2009
  

       Would you be happy with any big cat? Louis de Bernières' jaguars would do the trick....but they'd just attract tourists.
shudderprose, Mar 30 2009
  

       //too bad there aren't any sociable raptors, because a large flock of them would be just what a lot of coastal towns need.//

Baked (ish)! (linky)
DrBob, Mar 30 2009
  

       Sorry, [theleopard], the lions have been there for ages and just haven't been pulling their weight... Much as I'd like to believe a leopard would do better, I can't help thinking tourist numbers would definitely drop.   

       [xenzag] (makes notes of pigeon fanciers, nips off to mow teh lawn)   

       [AbsintheWithoutLeave] Nice idea, feed the pigeons to the foxes... then feed the foxes to the lions leaving the meerkats to keep watch   

       [po] //hygiene// Hmm, I suppose I could use a pigeon to "clean-up" afterwards {Didn't the Romans use 'em for that?}
Dub, Mar 30 2009
  

       // I suppose I could use a pigeon to "clean-up" afterwards {Didn't the Romans use 'em for that?}//
I thought they used a sponge on a stick dipped in vinegar, but I suppose a pigeon would do just as well. (Well, Rabelais used a goose's neck)
coprocephalous, Mar 30 2009
  

       There's now a site where you can choose your meerkats (link). Simples!   

       [blissy]: <stands> "Hello everyone, my names Blissmiss and I love pigeons" <sits to a ripple of applause>
wagster, Mar 30 2009
  

       ((*** I was on the point of posting this and the system crashed, so it quite possibly makes no sense at all in the order of things now ***))   

       Po is correct not everyone hates Pigeons. I find then quite tasty, once you get past the bits of lead. (Although I find in the time it has taken me to type this someone else has already posted this joke.)   

       I don't see why we need Meerkats, Giant Killer Ferrets will do a much better job, and they are indigenous to the UK. Plus you can make a small fortune selling rubber bands (for trouser legs) to gull able tourists [could not work out a Pigeon pun, as I am not from Papua New Guinea].
eight_nine_tortoise, Mar 30 2009
  

       //Po//sp. po Well we know that! po's infallible!   

       Peregrine Falcons seem to be doing quite well at the mo, too - They were on a BBC TV proggy earlier [Linky if I can find it]
Dub, Mar 30 2009
  

       -1 given up arguing...   

       just wondering which of the dinosaurs we would hate so much.
po, Mar 30 2009
  

       we share this planet with wee creatures like pigeons - get real!, there are humans who live such debased lives. PIGEONS have an equal right to live and breathe as we do.   

       I have spent a couple of years sharing bread at lunchtimes with a delightful pigeon that I call Fred - find us on flickr...
po, Mar 30 2009
  

       po Fred and I would like to thank the folks at PETA for standing beside us in our time of pigeon strife and turmoil.   

       They will strike if the Meers are let loose. And they will be mean. *PETA* mean if you get my drift.
blissmiss, Mar 30 2009
  

       { Oops, I think we broked po :( Cholly po. din't mean it. }   

       Anyhow, I can't stop thinking of Meerkats wearing red tunics, Black Bicorns and little eyepatches... but I may be getting my car insurance ads mixed up
Dub, Mar 30 2009
  

       //I have spent a couple of years sharing bread//
And how many field mice lost their homes and families so that you could flick your Hovis at a pest*?


* [po], I'm sure Fred (if that really is his name) is a perfectly nice pigeon, whom you could take home to meet your Mum, or introduce into polite society, but the fact remains that many of his extended family should be subject to pullastrine ASBOs.
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009
  

       Coprocephalos, //Flick your Hovis at a Pest// sounds like an idea for humane corporal punishment to me.
eight_nine_tortoise, Mar 31 2009
  

       //not quite as clever as the blackbirds//
A couple of dozen should make a nice crusted confection.
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009
  

       what do you mean if that's his real name - of course it is and she is a she.
po, Mar 31 2009
  

       Another problem with this idea, but possibly not an insurmountable one, is that meerkats like to have one of their number stand on the highest point around to look out for birds of prey.   

       In Trafalgar Square this would be Nelson's Column itself. This would represent a fearsome height to reach and at the top a warning call, to indicate that everyone should flee, might not be heard.
Aristotle, Mar 31 2009
  

       [Aristotle] That's why they left one of the plinths empty [linky], so the meerkats wouldn't have to climb all that way.

[EDIT] Thinking about it further, the terrace in front of the gallery is south-facing and a regular sun-trap (witness all the office workers who congregate there at midday), PLUS there is an abundant water supply - the whole square was obviously designed for meerkats.
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009
  

       anyway didn't Ken Livingstone bake this (kinda) with birds of prey?
po, Mar 31 2009
  

       Don't be silly, [po] "Four-and-twenty peregrine falcons, baked in a pie" simply doesn't scan.
Has to be blackbirds. Just hasta.
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009
  

       "four and twenty harris hawk baked in a pie" nearly scans.
po, Mar 31 2009
  

       I might concede kestrels.
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009
  

       {Linky} What about Parakeets? {Not to be baked}
Dub, Mar 31 2009
  

       [Dub] I don't believe that parakeets predate upon pigeons (though they might displace them eventually, I guess), and besides, they're noisy buggers.
Hardly the sort of thing you want to disturb the tranquility of Trafalgar Sq.
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009
  

       Maybe not, but I do quite like the post apocalyptic image of an overgrown Trafalgar Square occupied by the tropical squawkings of millions of nesting parakeets.
zen_tom, Mar 31 2009
  

       //Trafalgar Square occupied by the tropical squawkings of millions of nesting parakeets.//   

       Isn't that just the same as G20 protesters?
Jinbish, Mar 31 2009
  

       While walking over to see my local, friendly mob of acclimatised meerkats I happened to pass a similar collection of prairie dogs and the thought struck me - would "scaling up" the idea to feature these larger beasties help?
Aristotle, Apr 03 2009
  

       Prairie dogs always look to me a good deal less nimble than meerkats ("kats" vs. "dogs") to me, and I wonder if birds feature in their diet?
coprocephalous, Apr 03 2009
  

       Somehow it seems as though people in London are frequently concerned with the pigeons and their activities.   

       If they are such a problem just make an over sized pigeon shop vac already.   

       A few weeks of sucking them up and turning them into mash will clear up the problem.   

       The plan to replace them with meerkats seems like a bad idea. Your going to have to watch the birds get eaten.   

       I for one never enjoyed watching mice get eaten by snakes, it's going to be a similar situation.
vfrackis, Apr 03 2009
  

       i enjoyed being hazed by a flight of pigeons on my one visit to Trafalgar Square. i got it on tape and it was truly surreal. but of course i also understand the concern about overpopulation. i just doubt meerkats are the solution London needs. *sigh* i miss the Prince Charles Cinema.
k_sra, Apr 03 2009
  

       //I for one never enjoyed watching mice get eaten by snakes//
I'd probably agree there [vfrackis], but then I quite like mice. (not in the same way that I *love* pigeon)
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 03 2009
  

       k=sra, I love the Prince Charles!
theleopard, Apr 03 2009
  

       your friend probably expected eggs...   

       I just want photos
po, Apr 04 2009
  

       So, nothing to do with a corporate logo result if a buy-out of Admiral by Compare the Market . Com?
Dub, Mar 04 2011
  

       Wouldn't it be more to the point to shoot Mary Poppins, or in a wikileak style, put on the net the secret video recordings where it shows Mary beating the the kids when there's no one else around?   

       One guy was trying to sort out the problem, but he got stopped, mostly because of the lameness of his excuse, that he was going to train them as racing pigeons. see link.
not_morrison_rm, Mar 05 2011
  

       Organise falconry competitions in Trafalgar Square ?
8th of 7, Mar 05 2011
  

       Ever since serial killer Benoît Poelvoorde recited his poem about pigeons in the movie "Man Bites Dog", I have come to love pigeons too.   

       See the Youtube link for this great movie and the poem.
django, Mar 05 2011
  

       brilliant. I hate pigeons too.
fischerman, Mar 23 2011
  
      
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