CHICAGO (CBS) — The pigeon war in Uptown continued raging on Friday, with some of the combatants refusing to give up.
Animal rights activists don’t want the birds to be hurt as the local alderman and others look to get rid of the birds many consider flying rats.
Earlier this week, CBS 2’s Brad Edwards learned the identity of the Indiana farmer who had been capturing pigeons in Uptown, and illegally transporting them to Indiana for sport killings.
Officials at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources have told Herb Govert he must obtain a permit to import pigeons, but won’t seek any criminal action against him, saying he was unaware of the law requiring a permit to bring the birds into the state.
Govert had captured dozens of pigeons in Uptown, with the blessing of Ald. James Cappleman (46th), who has been trying to rid his ward of the birds.
Friday morning, a handful of demonstrators with the animal rights group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) staged a protest outside Cappleman’s office.
“There has been four pigeon nappings, where pigeons have been trapped, rounded up and taken over to Indiana, and used at pigeon shoots,” Janet Enoch said.
Govert has admitted he wanted the pigeons for sport shoots, which are legal in Indiana.
The protesters held signs with a rallying cry coined by CBS 2’s Walter Jacobson: “Chicago isn’t Chicago without the pigeons.”
SHARK had offered a reward for information about who had captured the pigeons. Now they said they want Cappleman to find some other way of getting rid of pigeons in his ward.
“There are humane, non-lethal pigeon control options that are available,” Enoch said. “We would be very happy to consult with Alderman Cappleman on those options.”
Enoch wanted to meet with Cappleman one-on-one Friday.
Since the start of the kerfuffle over the pigeon captures, Cappelman has only said “my concerns are about people falling, and $30,000 per lawsuit. My concern’s about the rise in the rat population because they eat pigeon excrement.”