SOUTHGATE (WWJ) – Just ahead of Saturday’s Cruisin’ Downriver event along Fort Street, the city of Southgate has called in police sharpshooters to kill hundreds of seagulls.

The birds have taken up residence at a vacant Saturn dealership along the cruise route — and were poised to leave their mark on all those classic cars.

John Hartig, with the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, explained why the birds are there.

“It’s vacant, there’s no human activity on the property right now, so these birds could be coming over from some of the landfills,” Hartig told WWJ Newsradio 950.

“And because there’s no one there to disturb them, they can take up residence there and sun themselves and be in that area without being disturbed,” he said. “That’s one theory right now.”

Hartig said droppings are clearly an issue with a colony this large; nearby residents had reportedly complained about a bad smell and all-

gulls closeup Cops Kill Seagulls Before Downriver Cruise

(WWJ Photo/Mike Campbell)

night squawking.

But are these classic cars really to die for?  Some say no.

A small group of protesters gathered at the lot Friday morning, including Shelia Levoy, who described what she called a heartbreaking scene.

“This bird has been shot — he stayed with me, next to me all night long,” said Levoy. “Another one stayed ahead of me and it died this morning. It was awake all night with me … I stayed here last night.”

The protesters are trying to get the word out about the situation via Facebook. They’re asking Metro Detroiters to call the mayor’s office and help put a stop to what they say is the inhumane removal of these birds.

Others say the time of the gull removal is a coincidence, having nothing to do with the cruise.

A new tenant is expected to move into the lot later this year.


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