- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - The booms heard by some eastern Wisconsin residents this weekend won’t be Fourth of July fireworks. They’ll be from an air cannon used to chase away thousands of seagulls.

The Manitowoc Fire Department has been receiving complaints about the smell and sound of seagulls at the site of the old Mid-Cities Mall, which was demolished about two years ago, Deputy Fire Chief Gregg Kadow told WLUK- TV (https://bit.ly/2soGtQS ).

The department plans to use the air cannon a few times a day starting Saturday. Residents will be alerted if the cannons need to be used for more than just a few days.

“It’s just a big boom and then they’ll wait for a while, and they’ll do it again,” Kadow said. “I would imagine most of the people with the right wind conditions in Manitowoc would be able to hear it.”

The air cannon has previously been used to scare the birds away from the mall’s roof. It was somewhat successful, Kadow said, though the birds eventually returned to the area.

The city hasn’t had to turn to lethal methods yet and believes the air cannon will be effective, said Chad Scheinoha, who is responsible for controlling the seagull population on city properties as operations division manager for the City of Manitowoc.

Nearby resident Ralph Schwark is unsure about the air cannon approach.

“If they want to waste their money shooting cannons off, that’s fine,” Schwark said. “I don’t think they’re going to chase the seagulls away.”

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