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Sea gulls at the Capitol pond in Washington, DC. VOA

A new study suggests that if you find yourself annoyed by seagulls at the beach or, more increasingly, urban areas, the best way to discourage them is to make eye contact.

Researchers at Britain’s University of Exeter observed 155 herring gulls – the most common variety of seagull, and a variety, they say, that is becoming more common in urban areas.

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The gulls tend to be seemingly fearless around people in either setting when it comes to stealing food. They have been known to fly off with whatever a person might be eating if it is left unguarded.

For their study, the researchers approached the seagulls while either looking directly at them or facing toward them, while keeping their eyes to the ground. They found when their eyes were locked with the gulls, the birds tended to flee.

The gulls tend to be seemingly fearless around people in either setting when it comes to stealing food. Unsplash

The gulls reacted the same way in both beach and urban areas.

A similar 2019 study led by University of Exeter PhD student Madeleine Goumas, examined how the gulls reacted when people looked at them or looked away. The study found looking directly at birds while they ate prompted them to fly away sooner.

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Goumas is lead author on the new study, which refined the methodology by having experimenters only move their eyes as they approached the gulls. She said the study shows the gulls responded specifically to human eye direction. It was as true in young gulls as it was mature ones, indicating it was innate behavior, not the result of any one gull’s negative interaction with people.

The researchers suggest the behavior reflects the gull’s large brains that have allowed them to adapt to survive a life of interacting with humans.

The study was published online on September 4 and will appear in the October 2020 issue of the journal Animal Behavior. (VOA)



The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.

NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.

The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.

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The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).

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Pakistan has failed miserably to protect Hindus, their interests.

A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.

According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.

Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.

Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.

The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".

But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.

A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.

Also Read: Hindu Woman Axed To Death In Pakistan

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