Supermarket robin still on the run!

A renegade robin on the run in a supermarket is today continuing to evade capture - four weeks after it took up residency.

MARTLESHAM: A renegade robin on the run in a supermarket is today continuing to evade capture - four weeks after it took up residency.

The plucky little bird, nicknamed Red by the Evening Star, has made the fresh fruit and veg section at Martlesham's Tesco Extra store its home for the past month and shows no sign of being nabbed anytime soon.

The Evening Star first reported on the robin two weeks ago and, despite the best efforts of staff, the feathered fugitive remains at large.

One worker at the store said: “He has been here for quite a while. He doesn't seem to want to leave. You see him flying around about once a week.

“People are always coming up to me saying 'Do you know there's a robin in here?'”

The red-breasted resident, thought to also favour the delicacies of the crisp shelves, has been surprising shoppers on a daily basis as they go about their business, although some have expressed concern about the bird's welfare and the potential health and safety risk it creates.

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Staff at the supermarket had to make contact with Natural England after being told that they could not harm or kill the robin as, like all wild birds, it is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

A Tesco spokesman said humane traps had been set around the store in a bid to take him alive - but the quick-witted robin had so far avoided capture.

He said: “The bird is still on site. We have received the correct permissions and have set up humane traps around the store in an attempt to catch the bird alive and release it out into the wild.”

Some concerned readers had contacted the Star saying they were worried about the bird's wellbeing after spotting it flying in and out of the crates of bananas.

If he can not be captured alive, Tesco have been told they can ask for a special licence from Natural England to take lethal action.

A Natural England spokeswoman said: “In most cases, trapping can be carried out under general licence.

“The person carrying out the action must be satisfied that they are acting within the provisions of the general licence and therefore the law.

“If this action is not successful a specific licence is required from Natural England before you can take any lethal action.”

Have you seen the robin? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

Fastfacts: Robins

The European robins' latin name is Erithacus rubecula

Robins normally grows to five inches in height

Robins lay between four and six eggs

They normally lay eggs in the morning and incubate them for around two weeks

The red-breasted robin will defend their territory to the death.

Tesco Fastfacts

Each year it sells around 185,219 tonnes of bananas and 440,000 tonnes of potatoes in the UK

About 469,000 people work for Tesco, 283,000 of them in the UK

It has more than 2,280 UK stores and 2,077 internationally