Waterloo station hawk to stop 'sandwich thieving pigeons'

Image source, Network Rail
Image caption,
Aria has previously patrolled at the Treasury and King's Cross Station

A hawk is to patrol the UK's busiest train station in a bid to stop pigeons pinching passengers' food.

Commuters at Waterloo have complained about the avian pests swooping on their sandwiches and causing a mess, Network Rail said.

It has recruited veteran vermin repeller Aria, five, to patrol in twice-weekly two-hour shifts.

The Harris hawk has previously defended King's Cross station and the Treasury from the winged menace.

Waterloo, which boasts 27 food and drink retailers, is used by 100m people per year, according to Transport for London.

Jason Murphy, from Network Rail, said Aria would help "save money on cleaning bills" by chasing the pigeons away.

He added: "Pigeons can be a real nuisance for people using the station.

"They also cause a lot of mess which needs cleaning up at some expense."

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