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SOUNDS OF SEABIRDS

Belgian town organises seagull imitation championship

The Belgian coastal town of De Panne organised on Sunday the third European seagull screeching championship, where a jury crowned the best imitation of the bird's distinctive shriek.

About 50 participants took part in the contest, including first-timers and returning participants. Each was judged by a professional jury, which awarded 15 points for how well they imitated the seagull’s sound and five points for their behaviour.

Participating for the first time, Yarmo, a 21-year old architecture student from Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, won the crown for the best seagull sound.

Seagulls are often despised by the public because of their intrusive behaviour and the contest also aims at changing their image.

“We thought why not get more sympathy for those seagulls because they are part of the coast, there is no coast without seagulls,” Jan Seys, president of the jury and head of communications of the Flanders Marine Institute, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Farah Salhi; Writing by Marine Strauss; Editing by David Holmes.)

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