'Grim reaper' of crows: Man uses large trap to catch birds at HDB estate

With cool shades and long hair pulled back in a ponytail, none would have expected the “grim reaper” to look so relaxed — certainly, not these crows.

Yesterday (June 1), a Reddit user uploaded a video showing a man utilising a large ladder trap to catch crows at an HDB estate within the Ang Mo Kio constituency.

In the video, the man calmly and methodically removed each crow from the trap.

He used the net at the end of a long pole to coax each bird into the corner before swooping in and catching it, then pulling the crow out from the trap through a small opening.

The man gently held the bird in his right hand as he placed it inside what appears to be a portable pet kennel.

“It’s the grim reaper but with a [net] instead of a scythe,” a Redditor said, guessing that the crows were being caught for culling.


However, some netizens were a little more morbid and even considered eating these crows.

“Kentucky Fried Crows,” a netizen commented on a copy of this video shared by Alvinologymedia on TikTok.

Another netizen chimed in, saying: “In [Taiwan], barbecued crow wings are sold by street vendors. I’ve tried it and it tasted just like chicken wings, just a lot larger.”

Culling crows

When it comes to culling crows, however, ladder traps aren’t the only answer.

One Redditor mentioned the use of shotguns — loaded with birdshot pellets — to shoot pest birds, referencing an incident in February 2019 where an auxiliary police officer tried to cull crows without following proper safety procedures.

The officer fired his shotgun without clearing the area or checking his line-of-sight, causing multiple pellets to be lodged in the front door of an HDB flat some 23m away, putting civilians at risk of injury.

There are also those who disagree with the culling of pest birds such as pigeons and crows in Singapore.

Anbarasi Boopal, co-CEO of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, told Today in 2019 that culling pigeons is a short-term fix that makes the problem worse.

“Culling doesn’t address the root cause of the problem,” she said.

Instead, the crux of the problem lay in the availability of food sources for the birds, Boopal explained, a notion reiterated by the Ministry of National Development (MND).

Addressing a parliamentary question on methods to manage the crow population, MND said last year that “food made available by humans is a key driver of crow population growth”.

According to the ministry, NParks received 2,750 cases of crow related feedback in 2020, regarding “issues such as noise, crow sightings, feeding, and crow attacks”.

NParks would continue to refine their management of the crow population, MND said, adding that they would “develop innovative trap designs” that are both “humane and effective”.

READ ALSO: ‘Hello my friend’: Man crows about his friendship with bird


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