Warning – graphic images: Seagull found in York with both feet severed off

The seagull had to be put down. Photograph: York RSPCA
30 Nov 2020 @ 12.32 pm
| News

A gull was found collapsed and bleeding in York with both its feet severed off, the RSPCA has revealed. 

Inspector Claire Little was called to the injured bird which was stuck in a garden in Terry Street, on Friday, 20 November. 

She said: “The homeowner had spotted the bird trapped in her garden and was concerned about his welfare.

“She said he was collapsed, couldn’t stand up and couldn’t fly. She could also see blood coming from his legs and said she thought his feet were missing. 

“He couldn’t get out of the garden so I was able to catch him quite easily, which is never a good sign. As soon as I had hold of him it became clear what the problem was; he was missing both feet.

“They’d been severed off and he still had a small bit of fishing line twisted around the stubs, embedded very deeply in the skin.”

Put to sleep

‘He still had a small bit of fishing line twisted around the stubs’

Inspector Little described the gull’s condition as heartbreaking.

“His feathers were soaked in blood and his underside was filthy where he’d been unable to stand up and off of the cold, wet ground.

“He must have been in so much pain and clearly couldn’t survive in the wild so, unfortunately, we were left with no choice but to put him to sleep.

This graphically shows the danger to wildlife of discarded fishing line

“It’s heartbreaking to see these birds losing their lives because of a little bit of plastic line. It just goes to show how hazardous discarded fishing litter can be to our wildlife.”

Most anglers do dispose of their litter properly. Those who don’t seem unaware how dangerous it is to animals.

The RSPCA says discarded line, in particular, is a terrible hazard for wildlife, particularly as it can be almost invisible.

Anglers are encouraged to follow the Angling Trust’s Take 5 campaign and make use of the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line.

To donate to the RSPCA Christmas campaign, go here