30 drunken seagulls baffle vets treating them at RSPCA centre

Monday, 09 Jul, 2018

Dozens of drunk seagulls have been found on beaches in Southwest England after scavenging alcohol, according to news reports.

RSPCA vet David Couper has treated a number of the birds as they arrived at the charity's West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset.

They struggle to stand or walk straight and appear disoriented.

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

The Guardian quotes Couper as urging local vets who have gulls coming into their surgeries with similar symptoms to not euthanize them, but rather allow them to recover from their drunken daze and then release them into the wild.

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

Although some birds have succumbed to the alcohol poisoning the RSPCA say numerous birds have been successfully rescued and released back into the wild following their ordeal.

The charity is urging local alcohol producers, distilleries and breweries to check their waste is secure and that it can not be accessed by wildlife.

"We took some video of one of the birds who is staggering around and losing his balance just like a person would if they'd had too much to drink".

The RSPCA is urging breweries and other alcohol producers to make sure their waste isn't being left where wild animals can get to it.

Brewery waste can also be used as a compost and feed, so narrowing down where the seagulls are guzzling the alcohol from is hard.