Each winter, thousands of gulls descend on Kunming following their migration south from Siberia. They are always greeted by enthusiast tourists who like to feed them and snap pictures as hundreds of gulls fly just overhead. However, occasionally people go too far for a picture with the birds.
Yesterday, a photo leaked online showing a man in a dark jacket holding one of the city’s celebrated black-headed gulls by its feet in order to snap some pictures. The netizen who made the post claims that nobody tried to stop the man when he snatched the bird from the sky. Instead, he actually got a stranger to come over and help him take pictures as he grinned into the camera clutching the helpless bird.
Soon, another netizen posted more pictures from Kunming’s Green Lake Park showing a group of tourists who had gotten a hold of another bird for pictures. The netizen says that people nearby tried to get them to stop what they were doing. However, the man simply blew them off saying, “I’m just going to take this one picture and that’s all, I won’t catch any more.”
After seeing the pictures, many netizens were furious and let the bird grabbers have a piece of their mind:
“I hope he gets bird flu,” commented one netizen from Guangdong province.
“These people are the real animals, not the birds,” wrote in another web user from Jiangsu province.
Last year, a tourist in Kunming broke a gull’s wing while trying to catch it — but not for a picture, for food. Fortunately, an onlooker at the scene stepped up and stopped the man, who responded: “I want to bring it back home and taste it.”
According to Kunming government regulations, injuring, catching or illicit trafficking of gulls can result in administrative punishment. Catching more than 20 gulls is considered a crime.