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Somerset drunk gulls found 'stinking of alcohol'

09 July 2018

How the seagulls got drunk is unknown, but one theory suggests they could have got stuck into some alcohol that was left on a beach.

"At first, the birds look like they have botulism but then, after vomiting, most seem to recover", RSPCA Inspector Jo Daniel told the Press Association.

Clara Sully, animal collection officer, said: "These birds were clearly wearing their beer gog-gulls when they scavenged their meal for the day and they've really been suffering with hangovers after a gulls' night out".

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Other sources report that the seagulls' freakish 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.

The way so many gulls are getting inebriated, some even dying from their excesses, has today seen the RSPCA urging the drinks industry to ensure it disposes of brewery waste well away from wildlife. RSPCA have had dozens of such cases from the south coast.

The theory that they are scavenging alcohol on beaches came after firefighters had to rescue a drunk gull which had fallen off a roof in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

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"The birds appear disoriented and confused and struggle to stand", he said.

The charity described the effect on the birds as similar to how a human would react to excessive alcohol. "The birds absolutely stink of alcohol when we collect them, so now our vans smell like pubs". Can be greedy gulls feeding on waste grain from the brewery in this district.

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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