Tall Tales

Venice hotels provide water pistols to deter ‘thieving seagulls’

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A seagull landing on the pavement

Hotels in Venice are handing out water pistols to help customers keep “thieving seagulls” at bay, reported The Times. “We decided to act after a customer lifted a croissant to his mouth and a lurking seagull dived and snatched it from his hand,” said the manager of the Monaco & Grand Canal hotel. “On another occasion a gull flew off with an entire steak,” he added. The Venice hoteliers’ association has suggested deploying falcons to protect the outdoor terraces of hotels.

Parkrun under fire for dog ruling

Parkrun, the company which organises fun runs in British parks, is facing another wave of criticism after it banned dog harnesses. The Telegraph said the “bizarre” ruling has prompted theories that organisers believe the harnesses give an unfair advantage to runners who are pulled along by their pets. One disgruntled parkrunner is launching a rival “Barkrun” group for people who want to take their hounds on the free weekly 5km runs in public parks. “I could see it becoming a rival,” he said.

Nicolas Cage wants dinosaur money back

Nicolas Cage says he’s still waiting for his money back after returning a stolen dinosaur skull he’d bought at an auction. The Hollywood star purchased a Tyrannosaurus bataar skull from a Beverly Hills gallery for $276,000 (£186,000), unaware it was stolen. “Here’s the MacGuffin: When the Mongolian government said they needed it back, I gave it to them, but I never got my money back,” he told GQ. He added: “So, somebody at the auction house should be in jail.”

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