Fears there is a gull shooter in town

Alexandra Farmer of Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary was called out at midnight to rescue a seagull found bleeding in a car park. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Alexandra Farmer of Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary was called out at midnight to rescue a seagull found bleeding in a car park. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The owner of Whitby wildlife sanctuary believes seagulls could be under threat from a lone shooter picking off the controversial birds.

One injured gull has already been brought to a wildlife sanctuary with a pellet sized wound to its chest, and sanctuary owner Alex Farmer has had reports of another gull covered in blood.

Alexandra Farmer of Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary was called out at midnight to rescue a seagull found bleeding in a car park. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Alexandra Farmer of Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary was called out at midnight to rescue a seagull found bleeding in a car park. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Alex, said she sees injured gulls every year, when it hits gull season, and this is the first one of this year so far.

Alex,(26) said: “It seems to be every year when it gets to gull season.

“Last year I had loads of seagulls brought over and they mostly came from the Royal Hotel car park on the West Cliff.

“Twenty seagulls were shot, and more were poisoned. I think someone is taking pot shots at them out of their top windows with a pellet gun.

“I don’t think its done for sport, think somebody has a pellet gun in their house and is taking shots out the window at the passing gulls.

“This time of year they make a lot of noise.

“A lot of people don’t like the gulls’ behaviour, they are notoriously territorial, they will take food out of peoples’ hands because that’s how they have been taught and they go through peoples’ bins.”

Concerned Alex was called at about midnight on Wednesday by a woman who had spotted the injured bird bleeding in the car park of the Royal Hotel.

It is still unclear the damage done to the gull - who is male and about four years old - until the x-ray results come back and whether he will need to be opened up.

Thankfully the pellet doesn’t seem to have damaged any bones in the birds wing.

The sanctuary owner added that herring gulls are on the RSPB red list and their numbers have declined by half in the last 30 years.

She added: “Just because there are a lot in Whitby doesn’t mean they aren’t in decline in the rest of the UK and Europe.”