Bailey the dog has been employed to as something of a seagull security guard for the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia.
The birds have been causing quite a mess in front of the waterside museum and on nearby vessels. Staff tried a number of deterrents, such as water sprays and fake birds, to no avail.
But then they looked into the use of dogs at airports to scare off birds, and turns out Bailey’s the panacea to their problems.
“Normally when there are seagulls down the end here, he’ll spot them and I’ll let him off the lead and I’ll say, ‘Bailey go’, and he’ll go down and he just automatically chase the birds,” Bailey’s keeper and the museum’s head of security, Adrian Snelling, told ABC 702 on Tuesday.
The border collie was adopted from a foster carer, who actually had to tie him up because he kept tiring himself out from chasing birds all day.
“He’s perfect for the role,” Snelling said. “The highlight of his morning is to come down to chase seagulls. And If you don’t take him down, he gets very upset.”
Bailey is so keen on his job, that he’s been given a dog life vest because of the amount of times he’s ended up jumping off the wharf and into the water.
“He has ended up in the harbour about four or five times now from being over-eager. The height of the wharves are very high, so it’s got a handle for us to pick him out,” Snelling explained.
At night, Bailey sleeps in the security control room. The museum has 24 hour security, which means there is always someone around. During the day, however, he rarely spends time inside the control room, with staff taking him for walks or playing with him.
Since Bailey’s introduction, there has been a marked improvement on the number of pesky seagulls on the wharves, but the birds have figured out that staying on the top decks of vessels means he can’t reach them. Go get ’em Bailey!