Birds of a different feather on Pattaya Beach

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Forget the ladyboy pickpockets, hookers and rats nesting in trees, Pattaya Beach apparently has a new scourge: pigeons.

A rare sight as little as two years ago, pigeons have become as a common pest on the beachfront, nibbling on discarded food scraps, pooping on benches and people and potentially carrying disease.

A rare sight just 2 years ago, pigeons are now overtaking Pattaya Beach. A rare sight just 2 years ago, pigeons are now overtaking Pattaya Beach.

A 40-year-old beach vendor identified only as “Prasert” said Pattaya is now an ample food source for the birds, often alleged to carry everything from bird flu to a fungus that causes a type of meningitis. “They aren’t a nuisance to tourists, but I think the city should take precautions to ensure the safety of beach vendors and tourists,” he said.

Surapol Wongsuthawas, animal control chief in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Public Health and Environment Office, said pigeons, like people, like the temperature on Pattaya Beach and humans are ensuring they stay because people keep feeding them.

He said the office will begin trapping the birds and then releasing them at the Khao Mai Kheow Open Zoo, feeding them on rice dipped in white wine to keep them nearby. No birds will be killed, he said.