A robin frequently visits an Aldi supermarket and stays. The bird is protected.

We know that the robin is quite bold around people. They are habituated to be around people. They like to ask people for food and they often achieve their goal. They are a well loved bird in the UK and it was voted Britain’s unofficial national bird in 1960 and again in 2015.

In the UK, wild birds are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act which makes it illegal to kill, injure or trap them.

This legislation helps to protect this particular robin who likes and continues to enjoy visiting an Aldi supermarket in Brecon, Powys, Wales.

It appears that almost daily the robin enters the supermarket either through the front door or through the loading bay. It sits on the aisles and the foods and there is a photograph of the robin sitting on a trolley. According to the workers at this Aldi store, it normally comes into the loading bay doors when there is a delivery but if not it will sit at the trolley Bay until staff open the doors at 8 AM.

The robin has been doing this for a while and some people complained. It’s not clear why they complained. I think some might have thought it was trapped and they wanted it released whereas others might have believed that it presented a hygiene problem.

When a customer heard about the complaint and that the store was thinking about removing the bird, a petition was set up immediately and within a matter of hours there were 350 signatures on the petition. The store manager heard about the resistance to removing the robin and now the store has agreed to allow the bird to stay.

The reason they give is that the bird is protected. They make no mention of the fact that the customers want the Robin to stay because it brightens up their lives. It sings and lightens the mood.

Feelings about the robin run deep among the customers. When they heard about its potential removal one said: “Don’t you dare touch the robin”.

Another customer, Helen Munday, said: “He needs to stay. He is the highlight of my weekly shopping trip and everyone looks for him when they pass the middle aisles.”

Shealagh Blake, a stalwart of the community Facebook page in support of this robin said that there “would be uproar if anyone came into the store to trap it. He was there on a box of angel cakes a few days after my brother died. He gives comfort.”

An artist, Gemma Schiebe said: “He really lifted my spirits on a difficult day recently and I hope he can continue to do so for others.”

The petition was started by an accounts manager from the nearby village of Llangynidr.

After the petition was started and there was general uproar about the birds removal, the assistant manager of the store, Ben Jones, said that the robin was safe. He said that there was a complaint because the customer felt that the bird was trapped as mentioned but he assured customers that the bird “comes and goes as he pleases. It’s welcome for as long as it wants.”

The local authority has backed Aldi in allowing the bird to stay and the store has passed “all its environmental health checks so there’s no risk to the public”. Ben Jones added: “All the time he’s been here, he’s never left any mess”.

The RSPCA mentioned that “robins can be quite bold with humans and it sounds like this one has been enjoying visiting the store freely and is probably enjoying the walls. It also appears [it] is able to escape easily as it comes and goes. We would be happy to speak with the supermarket if any advice was needed.”

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Post Category: Birds