We all know how many problems uncontrolled pest birds can control but there are some birds out there which are not pest and must be looked after.
The story below illustrates just such an occasion.
Legend has it that six ravens must guard the Tower of London at all times or the monarchy will fall.
So security has been beefed up at the Norman fortress after a fox killed two of the treasured birds, leaving the minimum number required to save the Crown.
The ravens, named Grip and Jubilee, were snatched just before they were due to be locked up in their cages overnight. Fortunately there were two spare birds at the Tower to keep the numbers up.
A spokesman for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that cares for the birds, said it had been a ‘lucky escape’ because the hungry fox had almost taken the number of ravens below six.
The dead birds were found by keepers at dusk and tests showed they were killed by a fox.
Grip was named after the raven in Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge that inspired a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, while Jubilee was chosen to honour the Queen. The two new birds brought in as replacements have been given the same names.
Catherine Steventon, of Historic Royal Palaces, said: ‘The ravens are put to bed each evening in secure enclosures to minimise these risks, however sadly a fox captured two of the ravens before they were put to bed.
‘At dusk we couldn’t find them. Eventually, they were found within the inner walls… Currently we have eight ravens at the Tower. The legend mentions six ravens and we like to have two extra.’
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