Hen invasion in La Paloma park

Hens and cockerels in La Paloma park.
Hens and cockerels in La Paloma park. / A. G.
  • Hundreds of hens and cockerels are running free on the main pathways through the park and are finding their way into neighbouring residential developments

La Paloma park in Benalmádena, one of the biggest "green lungs" among the concrete of the Costa del Sol, has become overrun with hundreds of cockerels and hens.

The scene may seem amusing at first, but the situation has caused a number of problems: visitors to the park are having difficulty walking comfortably along the main pathways; and some of the "invaders" are finding their way into neighbouring developments.

The town hall has said that the animals living in the park "have never been out of control", however the numbers have caused numerous complaints and increased the risk of infection and disease.

Benalmádena town hall estimates that there are around 400 hens and cockerels in the park. The veterinary service of the firm FCC (Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas) with the contract for the maintenance of the municipality's park and gardens has declined to comment due to "company policy".

The town hall blames the increase on members of the public who abandon unwanted animals in the park. The local authority has started taking hens to farm-schools all over the province and has called for anyone wanting to take in a chicken to come forward.

A ringing project, still incomplete, will allow the authority in future to identify the birds that belong and those that have been abandoned.