Nov 9 2017   12:31PM GMT

Cockatoos stick their beaks into broadband

Ryan Priest Ryan Priest Profile: Ryan Priest


Australia’s broadband is under siege from a group of vicious cockatoos with no known motive.

The cables they’re eating are not thought to be made from any of the birds’ classic vices, such as fruit or wood, which makes their decision to chew through them and deprive humans of internet access seem all the more frivolous.

It’s left Gisela Kaplan, a professor in animal behaviour, stumped. “It would have to be an acquired taste, because it’s not their usual style,” she said, which is about as helpful in getting to the bottom of Cockygate as Tippi Hedren near an oil spill.

The country’s hapless national broadband network has no choice but to start replacing the gnawed cables, which has so far cost it A$80,000.

Birds have already shown us they can stick a plane in the Hudson River, or a bit of baguette in our Large Hadron Collider, whenever they want, but now they’re targeting Netflix streaming quality.

It serves as a reminder we only surf the web at the permission of our airborne cousins, and just how much these creatures hate all things tech. It’s thought eagles only fling mountain goats to their grisly deaths because they think one of them might be Richard Branson. Ram-packed trains indeed.

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