‘Aggressive’ dive-bombing seagulls with bird flu have people ‘living in fear’
Crazed seagulls are dive-bombing residents and leaving some in need of hospital treatment after a spate of recent attacks.
Anglesey villagers are living in fear as the birds continue to cause havoc, with some testing positive for bird flu.
Several people in the Welsh village have required medical treatment and tetanus shots in recent months due to the attacks.
One woman was left “quite badly hurt” after falling on her arm while being mobbed by a group of gulls a few weeks ago.
Local resident Gareth Parry said the chaos began a few months ago with the problem now “worse than it has ever been.”
The 70-year-old thinks twice now before leaving the house in case he is swarmed upon, something that has already happened several times.
He said seagulls can be aggressive around their chicks and, as the population in the area grows, more problems occur.
According to the pensioner, some local primary school pupils have been too afraid to attend school as seagulls have been swooping down on people after nesting on a nearby building.
“Some people I know have had to go to hospital for tetanus shots and there was one woman recently who injured her arm quite badly after falling while being attacked,” Mr Parry said.
“I was talking to people on my street the other day and they said they won’t take their dogs out for a walk because they’re afraid of being bombarded – it’s that bad.
“It’s like being back in lockdown for some people, but at least in lockdown you could walk your dog without being attacked.”
Mr Parry urged for the council to do more to address the issue in the village of Anglesey, located on a remote island in Wales.
“This is a problem that we’ve been having every summer for years now but this year it’s even worse,” he said.
“Once the seagulls have their chicks, they become extra aggressive to the point where you think twice about leaving the house.
“They nest near the houses, on the streets, and across the village centre, and if you get anywhere near one of them, you’ll get attacked by three or four of them.
“Before the schools shut for the summer holidays, some of the pupils were afraid to go in because the seagulls had nested in the building next door.
“I know of some of them who didn’t go to school in fear of being dive-bombed by seagulls on their way in the morning.”
The resident explained how the problem seems to begin when the chicks start to grow and wander around the village independently.
Seagulls are protective of them and attack anyone who walks near them, he added.
The terrified pensioner added: “I’ve had them dive towards me but I’ve not been bitten or attacked yet.
“If there’s a chick anywhere near my garden, I know I won’t be able to go out because I’ll just get pounced upon,” he continued.
“I think if the problem continues next year, people will start to take things into their own hands.”
Mr Parry joked that he would send the council tax to the seagulls if he could because “they own this village now.”
All species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The RSPB website explains: “This makes it illegal to intentionally or, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, recklessly injure or kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.
“In Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is also illegal to prevent birds from accessing their nest and, in Northern Ireland, it is illegal to disturb any nesting bird.”
Some local authorities attempt to control the numbers of urban gulls by egg-oiling or nest destruction, but these actions do not appear to have the desired effect, the RSPB states.
Reducing the organic waste taken to landfill sites and, in towns, preventing street littering, and making public waste bins, domestic and business waste containers and collection arrangements “gull-proof”, are effective deterrents according to the organisation.
Anglesey Council has been approached for comment.
Meanwhile a number of seagulls have been “deliberately killed or injured” in another Anglesey town, claims a “shocked and distressed” witness.
The latest incident in Beaumaris involved a mother bird found barely alive on Little Lane on Tuesday, with its legs broken, bones sticking out and a dead chick nearby.
A woman who wishes to remain anonymous said she’s found five dead birds – including chicks – and nine eggs taken from nests over the past few months.
She said that, in May, she found one mother bird lying with its neck broken and nests of eggs destroyed in St Mary and St Nicholas churchyard.
Police were called and a female bird was taken away for analysis.
Results showed the gull had bird flu which halted further tests, said North Wales Police.
The woman is appealing to residents and visitors to report anyone seen harming the protected sea birds to contact the police.
“Someone is killing them deliberately but they are a protected species,” she said.
“It is very distressing this is happening in Beaumaris. Someone is killing them. It is just horrible.”
PC Matt Raymond of the Rural Crime Team said: “Unfortunately there have been no further lines of enquiry to prove who committed this offence. All wild birds are protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
“It is an offence to kill and injure a wild bird, take their eggs and damage their active nests.
“If any seagulls are found dead, especially with no apparent signs of injury, please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency, as they may have avian influenza.
“North Wales Police can also be contacted if you suspect there has been a crime.”