Bahrain's seagulls too fat to fly after feasting on leftover national dish

Government official calls for clean-up of discarded carb-heavy machboos

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Obese seagulls in Bahrain triggered calls for a clean-up, after officials said they were too fat to fly from feasting on leftover machboos.

Bahrain's national dish is a favourite with the birds, that swoop in to peck away at trays of discarded spicy chicken and rice.

The lure of leftovers led the seagull population  to show signs of shunning traditional ocean feeding grounds in favour of plentiful supplies of the oil-drenched rice put out with the rubbish.

Abdullah Al Qubaisi, chairman of the Northern Municipal Council’s technical committee, called for a clean-up, because fat seagulls staggering around the streets were bringing down the reputation of respectable neighbourhoods.

"We can see them walking on the ground, it's like they just left work and came home for lunch," he told Bahrain's Gulf Daily News.

“We only ever see them feeding on leftover meals, such as machboos and other traditional dishes.

“All that is left to do for these birds is to set them up with a jug of juice and a range of desserts.”

The traditional Arabic dish is rice cooked in a chicken broth, flavoured with spices and dried lemon.

Machboos became a family staple in Bahrain over generations, but the carbohydrate-loaded meal is now causing problems with the island nation's wildlife.

Infestations of rats have been reported in Hamad town, where councillors want better signage to encourage responsible waste disposal to stop people dumping leftover meals.

Last week, vets in Dubai sounded the alarm over the trend to overfeed pets to make them cuter for social media posts.

Pets overfed for cute Instagram posts