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Dublin: 11°C Friday 12 August 2022

Crow which attacked 'up to 20 people' in Cork may have just been hungry

The bird had attacked several people on the campus leaving some in need of medical attention

Picture posed by model
Picture posed by model
Image: DPA/PA Images

A LONE CROW which has been attacking people on the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) campus could just be hungry as its usual food source – leftovers from the students – has dried up.  

The bird has been creating a stir on campus after several people were attacked, with two people needing medical attention from the on-site medical centre.

As reported by the Irish Examiner this morning, the crow attacked up to 20 people who were working or studying on campus, leaving some with scratches requiring tetanus jabs.

The crow may be more aggressive at this time of year because it is nesting season, birds are known to become protective and attack in an effort to protect their hatchlings, according to the manager of the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of to Animals (CSPCA), Vincent Cashman.

However, Cashman suggested to that the crow could just be hungry as its food source has gone home for the summer.

They [students] would usually leave a bit of bread or something around for the birds but because the students have gone home for the summer the crow is going hungry. It’s giving them a bop on the head because he’s wondering where the food is.

The crow is said to be hanging around the canteen area of the campus, feeding into the theory that it’s just looking for the usual banquet, which is now mainly absent.

While the canteen is still open, exams in CIT are now over and according to a CIT spokesperson, only post-graduate students remain on the campus.

The CSPCA is sending out a team of experts to the CIT campus later in the afternoon to assess the situation and offer advice on how to deal with the issue.

Cashman said that the problem could be solved by putting out signs warning students not to feed the birds. As they build up a dependence on the scraps left by students, the sudden decrease in food can make the birds desperate.


Although a team is being sent to the campus, both the CSPCA and CIT are limited in what they can do to alleviate the situation as it is illegal to touch live nesting sites.

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If the bird is living in the nest then it cannot be touched even if it is on a building. The CSPCA spokesperson said, “Even if the bird was nesting in Dáil Eireann, nothing could be done to remove it.”

A spokesperson for CIT told that they could not tell if the bird had a nearby nest but that attacks of this kind were “not unique to CIT” and that “a quick Google search will show you that these kinds of attacks happen all over the world at this time of year”.

Just last week the Evening Standard reported that a man was attacked by three or four crows in London as they attempted to protect their young. The man claimed that he would have to find a “safer route” as that kind of attack was “quite common at this time of year.”

A second spokesperson from the CSPCA advised that people should avoid the gym and canteen areas of CIT during the summer, as this is the time when such attacks are most likely.

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