A gull rescued after become trapped on a traffic light in Swansea city centre five years ago has, sadly, been involved in a second – fatal – road incident.

Traffic light gull rescue 2011 pic1The RSPCA received a call on Monday, 5 September reporting that a gull had been injured following a road traffic incident and RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Andrew Harris was called to the scene at Islwyn Road, Mayhill. Very sadly the bird was so severely injured that he had to be put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

AWO Harris said: “Sadly this gull had a broken wing which was hanging off his body and there was nothing we could do to save him.Traffic light gull rescue 2011 pic2

“The gull had an identification ring so I followed it up and found that it had been injured five years ago and had gone to Gower Bird Hospital for rehabilitation who had put the ring in place.

“It is very sad that he has been involved in a second incident as he was a healthy bird, and obviously had been doing well since he last got himself into trouble in 2011.”

The bird first came into our care in October 2011 after RSPCA inspector Nic De Celis attended The Kingsway after the charity received several calls from the public who saw a herring gull had become trapped between two sets of lights.

The gull had fallen down onto the light instead of flying down and needed to be freed. After inspector De Celis managed to free the gull, the bird was transferred to Gower Bird Hospital for rehabilitation.

Traffic light gull with Simon Allen at GBH pic1Simon Allen from Gower Bird Hospital (pictured in 2011 left) said: “The bird was suffering from injuries to its wing tips and both legs. It was also carrying a significant worm burden which was treated.

“The bird was released from the hospital site on the 23 October in 2011.

“The bird weighed 853 grams on admission in 2011 and 900 grams in 2016. So the bird had been doing really well until the road traffic incident.”

Inspector Nic De Celis said: “This incident was really sad – but at least we know that the bird had five good years after his first accident – which he would not have had if he had not been rescued. It is reassuring to see the proof that the rehabilitation and release process works.

“We tend to a lot of sick and injured animals over the years – and many gulls – so it is unusual when we come across the same one although we alongside Gower Bird Hospital conduct post-release monitoring, to ensure our rehabilitation methods work and to give the animal the best chance of survival.”

For more information on post-release motioning, please visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/rehabilitation/wildliferehabilitation/postrelease

If you spot an animal in distress, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.

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