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Algiers

Invading ‘rat of the sky’ irks Algerians

ALGIERS: "It's not a bird, it's a rat -- and it's squatting on my terrace," Ali says of his new neighbour, a yellow-legged gull -- a pest ubiquitous in the Algerian capital. The 60-year-old is not alone in despising this versatile scavenger, whose Mediterranean population has boomed in recent decades. The "rat of the sky" has taken advantage of human waste to supplement its normal marine diet, breeding fast and becoming the region's most common seabird. Aicha, an Algiers resident with henna-dyed hair, has shared her…