Patrol dogs are protecting visitors' fries from seagulls at the Sydney Opera House

If you’ve ever tried to enjoy a nice open-air meal near a body of water, chances are you’ve had to deal with some birds who want to compete for your lunch. In spots that are popular with tourists, some birds get particularly emboldened when it comes to stealing a snack, which is why some pretty adorable dogs have been brought in to help out in one of Sydney’s most famous spots.

Seagull patrol dog Roxy at work with her handler Juliana at the Sydney Opera House on 28 January, 2019. Image by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

The Sydney Opera House has brought in a dog patrol to help deter seagulls from flying in and stealing food from those dining at the bar and restaurant on the harbour. The silver gulls, which are often called seagulls, are native to Australia, and therefore protected by law like the majority of native species on the continent. But, where the silver gulls live close to crowds of people eating outdoors, problems tend to ensue.

The gulls pose an annoyance for the crowds of locals and travellers who want to enjoy a meal in the sun with a view of the iconic opera house. Over the years, the Sydney Opera House has tried out a number of ways to deter the gulls from swooping in, including a robotic hawk and noisemakers, without much success. But now, the opera house has brought in five dogs to make up the “seagull patrol” around the Opera Bar and Opera Kitchen. The new additions to the team are adorable, and so far, proving effective.

Seagulls eye their next meal at the Sydney Opera House on January 28, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Image by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

According to Broadsheet Sydney, the Opera Bar has seen an 80% drop in meal replacement caused by gulls making off with guests’ food. Plus, it’s an added bonus for any pup-loving patrons.