RSPCA investigating second “horrific” seagull walking stick attack in a week

The bird is recovering after being attacked by a man with a walking stick in Great Yarmouth

The bird is recovering after being attacked by a man with a walking stick in Great Yarmouth Picture: Wild Touch Wildlife Centre - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA are investigating the second seagull walking stick attack in Great Yarmouth in the space of a week.

On Wednesday, July 18, a man reportedly bludgeoned a seagull in the market place, with the bird ultimately being put down.

Now, the RSPCA are investigating an incident on the evening of Saturday, July 21, when a man reportedly stalked a baby gull before smashing it with a walking stick.

Susan-Grace Applegate was sitting in a parked car outside Domino’s Pizza in King Street at around 7.15pm when she noticed the man following the gull.

She said: “It was a lovely evening and I was just watching people walk back and forth and I noticed this particular man because he walked back and forth several times.

“Then I noticed that he was very close to the little bird and he was coming up quite close behind it, which I thought was a bit odd.

“He followed it up to the church car parking area and I just got a funny feeling, because the bird walked one way and he would double back and follow it.

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“He quickly turned and smashed it as hard as he could. He walked off up King Street and I got out of the car and was horrified to see that it was still alive to be honest with you.

“It happened so quickly, it was really horrific, it was dreadful. He swung the stick really hard and smashed it right up high.”

Ms Applegate said the man looked as though he did not need the walking stick for mobility reasons, describing the man as in his 40s and of a medium build, wearing a wide-brim hat.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “This is a very concerning incident which must have been very distressing to witness. It is the second attack on a gull in the area in the last week, the first being on Wednesday in the market place.

“The gull involved in the first attacked sadly died, however their baby gull has been taken to Wild Touch Wildlife Centre in Bacton where he is doing well. The gull involved in this recent attack, on Saturday, is also at Wild Touch but sadly he has a broken wing and a broken leg and is not eating on his own.

“We are grateful to the members of the public who contacted us about these incidents and we are looking into them. We are urging anyone who has any information to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”

Last August, the RSPCA investigated an incident where a gull was reportedly impaled on a spike in Crown Road.

Wild Touch Wildlife Centre on gull attacks

Founder of Wild Touch Wildlife Centre in Bacton, David Carr, is looking after the gull and said he had not seen attacks like this before.

He said: “The bird suffered a broken ulna and a broken femur. We also have the chick that we suspect was orphaned when the adult gull was attacked and killed last week, as well as two adult birds that have been shot with airguns.

“One with a head injury is slowly making a recovery while the other that was shot through the pelvis had to be euthanised. We have taken in around 60 gulls so far this season, mostly orphaned chicks, with more arriving every day.

“These attacks, while completely illegal since all gulls are protected species, are not uncommon.

“We see birds with gunshot wounds every year as well as those that have been kicked or deliberately run over, though this is the first time we have seen them publicly attacked with sticks in this manner.”