Pigeons, squirrels, raccoons and deer all have something in common in the City of Victoria’s downtown and environs: They are not to be fed.
The topic has come into the public eye thanks to a photo making the rounds on the Internet. In it, a woman chats to a pair of staffers from Victoria Animal Control Services while surrounded by about 50 pigeons.
Another 30 to 40 birds roost in nearby trees during their conversation, which took place on a Pandora Avenue boulevard near Vancouver Street.
Under a city bylaw, it is illegal to intentionally feed or leave out food for deer, raccoons, squirrels and feral rabbits.
Within the downtown area — an area roughly bounded by Bay Street, the legislature, the harbour and Cook Street — pigeons, crows and gulls may not be fed.
Violators are subject to a fine of $125.
The woman was not issued a ticket.
According to the city, she was merely advised of the regulations.
The animal-control officers went to the area after receiving complaints from residents, said a city spokeswoman.
“There have been growing concerns about the increasing number of pigeons in the area due to daily feeding at this location,” Katie Hamilton said.
“It is resulting in increased noise and bird excrement on neighbouring properties.”
A bylaw against feeding pigeons and other animals was put in place “because of the potential negative impacts in a compact downtown,” she said.
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