Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Dozens of 'drunk' seagulls found on South West beaches

Dozens of 'drunk' seagulls found on South West beaches

One theory is that the seagulls have been consuming booze left behind on beaches by boozed up revellers, another that they've been swooping in on grain by-products from a local brewery.

The RSPCA centre at West Hatch near Taunton, Somerset, has had almost 30 drunken birds "reeking of alcohol" in two weeks.

Other sources report that the seagulls' weird behaviour could be nothing to do with alcohol, but instead the consumption of flying ants which produce formic acid, a substance that "stupefies" the birds.

RSPCA vet David Couper said the birds were staggering around and losing their balance "just like a person would if they'd had too much to drink".

They struggle to stand or walk straight and appear disoriented.

Animal rescuers have been collecting the gulls along the South Coast, fearing, at first, the birds had succumbed to the deadly bacterial disease, botulism.

The charity is urging breweries and alcohol producers to make sure their waste is not accessible by wildlife.

The birds have come in from Dawlish, Exeter and Sidmouth in Devon to Bridport and Lyme Regis in Dorset.

However, most of the birds seem to recover after vomiting, she said. He added saying, "I'd urge any local vets who see birds coming in with similar symptoms to give them a chance to recover from the effects of the alcohol". Animal welfare experts, think that the birds' inebriated state may be the result of feeding on brewery waste.

Anyone with concerns for the welfare of a bird or animal can contact the RSPCA's 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999 for advice or to request assistance.

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