Initiating a "war on crows," Ishihara announced his intention "to make crow-meat pies Tokyo’s special dish."
Between 1985 and 2001, Tokyo’s crow population had soared from 7,000 to 36,400.
The jungle crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) of Tokyo are larger and meaner than their counterparts in North America. Adult jungle crows have a wing-span of one yard and are known to clench their talons into fists and punch humans in the face. The birds seem to enjoy sneaking up on unsuspecting Tokyoites and causing them to cartoonishly fall down stairwells.
The ugly birds are accused of scaring children, crapping on everyone, ripping open countless bags of garbage and destroying Tokyo’s high-speed Internet cables. The birds regularly attack electrical wires, leading to periodic blackouts and the loss of power to a bullet train.
The city began setting traps baited with mayonnaise for the crows in 2001, exterminating over 105,000 crows and incinerating them at a top-secret location.
Tokyo appeared to be winning the war on crows until 2006, when the crows launched a counteroffensive. Around that time, budget cuts prompted the city to reduce the number of traps and switch from mayonnaise to a less effective lard bait. Since 2006, the crow population has increased by 30%.
Hiroshi Kawachi, of the Wild Bird Society, suggests that only the stupidest crows are vulnerable to the traps.
"The older, more clever crows never go near those traps," comments Kawachi. "They are catching only young, stupid crows, not the breeders."
More advanced crows are able to quickly disarm the traps and collect the prizes within. The lard is only making them stronger.