The Tower of London’s famous ravens are flying the coop in search of food scraps and crowds, as a lull in tourist numbers have driven them to boredom.
This news does not bode well for the monarchy, because legend has it that the kingdom will fall if the tower’s six resident ravens leave the fortress.
Multiple reports out of the UK have said that those who work at the 923-year-old castle have expressed concerns that the famous birds have been venturing away from their usual posts because they are bored.
In peak season, the fortress would usually see more than 15,000 visitors, according to The Guardian. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the number fall to fewer than 800 a day.
“If the ravens were to leave, the tower would crumble to dust. The tower is only the tower when the people are here,” Christopher Skaife, a raven master told The Sun.
“The ravens have always been so important … because they’ve been surrounded by myths and legends. We really need people to come back to help the ravens.”
The ravens – Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Merlina – are free to roam the tower precincts during the day and are often seen snacking on scraps.
However, the tower’s website warns visitors not to try and feed them themselves as they are known to bite if they feel their territory is being threatened.
The website also notes that the birds only respond to the raven master and should not be approached.
“It’s been tough because the ravens only saw me or one warden walking by during the lockdown. They depend on tourists,” Skaife said.
“Never in a raven’s history have we seen fewer people in the Tower of London. Even in world war two, there were still hundreds in and around.”
Travel Weekly has contacted the Tower of London for comment.
Featured image source: iStock/purplevine