Sheboygan Seagulls

A walk in downtown Sheboygan is risky these days, unless you're wearing a hat.

Thousands of seagulls have flooded a shopping area, enough that the U.S. Department of Agriculture stepped in yesterday.

A federal wildlife specialist visited the city to investigate the growing gull problem.

Business owners say the birds are nesting in an empty parking lot and posing a health hazard. The city says the screeching, swooping birds frighten customers and leave behind a major mess.

Sheboygan alderwoman Marge Segalle says now the birds are having babies, and the problem is going to get worse.

USDA wildlife specialist Ben Nelson says with the birds nesting, it will be tough to get them to leave. Relocating the birds requires a federal permit.

Nelson says the first priority is making sure no one feeds them or leaves food around. Officials have put up signs in the area telling people that.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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