Saint Paul Hotel has a pigeon problem, and its stopgap solution is racking up YouTube views.
A video, posted below, shows a contract worker hired by the downtown hotel to remove pigeons from a trap placed by the employee entrance, according to Ken Wieber, director of operations for Saint Paul Hotel.
City Pages was unable to contact the person who posted the clip, which is titled "Saint Paul Hotel Inhumane Treatment of Pigeons."
"So there's currently one bird left in the case, the rest are in that black plastic bag, and it looks like he's getting the last one to put it in that bag as well," the video's narrator says. "He's now struggling with the bag full of birds. He just stepped on it to keep it shut. The plastic bag with the birds is no longer really moving... but the cage appears empty."
Several Facebook users found the treatment of the pigeons "disgusting." The video also caught the attention of St. Paul Animal Control.
"They’ll be investigating it," says Suzanne Donovan, marketing/publications manager for the St. Paul Dept. of Safety and Inspections. "They’ll be trying to determine what happened and who they hired."
City ordinances permit the trapping of certain wild animals, and wild pigeons are classified as “nuisance” pests, Donovan explains.
"The ordinance is silent on what happens once the animal is captured, but generally animals must be euthanized in a manner approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association," she adds.
Based on the video, it's unclear whether the birds survived inside the bag.
The trap-and-bag fix is temporary, Wieber says. Saint Paul Hotel is installing a permanent steel structure to keep birds away.
"We understand how [video commenters] feel," he says, adding that the hotel has yet to hear from Animal Control. "But again, it’s a temporary solution to the mess the pigeons are creating by the employee entrance."