As It Happens

This Australian diner had a seagull problem — so it armed customers with water guns

"I just had this epiphany one morning and thought: water pistols," said Toby Evans, owner of 3Sheets restaurant in Perth. "It ticked all the boxes."

'The seagulls really got the hint,' says Perth restaurateur Toby Evans

Annoyed at seagulls that pester its patrons, a restaurant in the Australian city of Perth has armed customers with water guns to stop the birds from ruining the waterfront dining experience. (Submitted by Toby Evans)
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Toby Evans says he tried everything he could think of to protect his seaside diner's customers from the scourge of hungry seagulls.

"We tried every sort of deterrent we could, you know, all the various devices you could buy from the hardware store," the owner of 3Sheets restaurant in Perth, Australia, told As It Happens host Carol Off. 

"Nothing seemed to work."

But he eventually found a tool up to the task — at a toy store.

"I just had this epiphany one morning and thought: water pistols," he said. "It ticked all the boxes."

Annoyed at seagulls that pester its patrons, 3Sheets restaurant in Perth, Australia, has armed customers with water pistols to stop the birds from ruining the waterfront dining experience. 0:48

He figured the water guns would gets rid of the birds without harming them, while letting 3Sheets customers "have a bit of fun."

So he made a shopping trip to Toys 'R' Us then loaded each of his diner's outside tables with a water pistol — "not the real hard-powered ones," he assured — and a note telling diners to spray the scavengers.

Toby Evans, owner of 3Sheets, says the water guns have been effective at keeping seagulls at bay. (Submitted by Toby Evans)

The seagulls usually congregate near the waterfront restaurants, but these past few weeks have been particularly trying, Evans said.

"Over the last sort of 10 days they've gotten really bad. We don't know why," he said.

"It's like they went to commando school and learned some tricks and they were just getting pretty aggressive towards the the customers."

Evans says the low-power water guns are a fun and humane way to deal with the seagull problem at his waterside diner. (Submitted by Toby Evans)

Now, he said, the customers are being aggressive back.

"It's been fantastic. The seagulls really got the hint," he said.

"More importantly, the customers knew that we sort of trying to have some fun."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Samantha Lui. 

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