Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

July 26, 2005
Wildlife group's warning after seagulls shot by airguns in Burnham

Wildlife experts have warned that holidaymakers and residents risk being injured if seagulls in Burnham continue to be the target of airgun attacks.

A shot seagull being held by Secret World's Simon KidnerSeveral gulls have been rescued by Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre in recent weeks, having been found with airgun pellets embedded in them.

The most recent attack in Pier Street saw the bird pictured here becoming another victim.

Pauline Kidner, founder of the Highbridge-based wildlife centre, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "People are taking the law into their own hands which can be incredibly dangerous. They are often shooting in an area where there are other people around and this create risks for both wildlife and people."

Secret World's Simon Kidner with an injured seagull in Pier Street, Burnham earlier in July"It's incredibly annoying when we hear that herring gulls and pigeons have been shot at, driven at by people in their vehicles, or even trapped and caught in wires."

She said the problem is a seasonal one, and that at least five per cent of all gulls treated by the centre have been shot.

"We'd ask people to be responsible. There are firms which deal with gulls and there are various ways of preventing them going onto roof-tops and buildings."

The news comes as many residents claim the seagull problem in Burnham and Highbridge is worse than ever this summer.

There have been several reports of 'attacks' on the seafront where gulls have swooped on visitors eating food - and in the last few days several postmen in Highbridge have been attacked by nesting gulls.

In a separate incident at the start of July, a gull cracked a car windscreen in the town centre after pecking at a wiper blade - leaving the owner with a repair bill of £100.

Pauline Kidner said the root cause of the problem is that there is less food for the gulls out at sea.

"They're coming inland to feed, so the simple answer is not to feed them," she said.


Swan rescued by hovercraft team and Secret World expert

Seal rescued on Brean Beach

Secret World Wildlife Centre


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