Bungling council workers put up netting to stop bird poo falling on pedestrians but ended up trapping pigeons above a pavement.
A team working for Edinburgh Council installed the net following complaints that the birds were relieving themselves on those walking underneath a bridge.
But, despite an elaborate system to allow the birds to escape the netting, it soon emerged that pigeons were trapped inside and, in the words of one resident, were ‘slowly starving to death’.
Pigeons have been trapped inside a net which was supposed to stop them defecating on pedestrians below
The council have said netting included special pigeon ‘hatches’ which were supposed to let the trapped birds out but prevent free birds getting in.
But residents in the city say the ‘imprisoned’ pigeons appear to be struggling with the hatch arrangement and have complained to the council that the birds are slowly starving to death.
A video posted online shows trapped birds frantically flapping about under the bridge in the Portobello area of the Scottish capital.
Alex Allan, who filmed the clip, tweeted: ‘Thanks for fixing the bridge but you’ve condemned 20-plus pigeons to a horrible death.’
Mr Allan added: ‘Also they are nesting so there are lots of chicks in there too, slowly starving to death.’
The netting was put up last week following complaints that the birds were relieving themselves on pedestrians.
Local residents near the bridge in Edinburgh are angry that the problem will continue and the birds will die
Workers failed to scare off many of the pigeons before installing the netting but carried on regardless.
An internal council email, believed to have been sent from an official to a councillor, states: ‘I suspect they were actually caged in. To me this smacks of poor workmanship or is it acceptable?
‘The pigeons are still flying about inside this morning and I assume will until they die and rot/decompose away. So the pigeon poo will persist for a while longer.’
Andy Matheson, Area Roads Manager for Edinburgh Council said as many as 200 pigeons were moved on from the bridge.
He said the trapped birds could take two-three weeks to escape using the ‘outlet’.
He added: ‘If the numbers of pigeons don’t appear to drop….a section of netting may have to be removed temporarily in order to release them.’
A spokewoman for RSPB said: ‘Pigeons aren’t everyone’s favorite bird but we still need to make sure they are safe and get rescued.’
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