A quick-thinking member of the public helped alert the RSPCA to an injured beach-stricken gull by surrounding the bird with seaweed, and writing a message in the sand.
RSPCA Cymru was contacted after a member of the public spotted a badly injured gull on a Swansea Bay beach on Friday (6 October), sitting motionless.
The caller was unable to remain in situ with the bird while the RSPCA travelled to the incident, so thought of an innovative way to alert the charity to the bird’s whereabouts.
Pebbles, stones and seaweed were used to make a circle around the gull, while a large arrow was drawn in the sand, pointing to the bird, along with the message – “RSPCA INJURED BIRD”.
The charity attended shortly after the call, but sadly found a badly injured bird, unable to stand, very thin and with wings splayed. There was no other humane option but to put the gull to sleep to prevent further suffering.
However, the member of the public’s ingenuity ensured the gull did not experience a prolonged period of suffering.
RSPCA officer Nicole Wallace said: “This was definitely a first for me – I’ve never been directed to an animal in this way before.
“Sadly, this story didn’t have the happy ending we would all have loved – as the gull’s injuries were just too severe.
“However, by alerting us to the poor bird’s plight, we were able to act swiftly and ensure the gull did not endure a prolonged period of suffering.
“The use of seaweed, stones and messages in the sand just shows the lengths people will go to in helping the RSPCA look out for animals. The quick-thinking, innovative caller was really looking out for this poor gull, and we’re grateful to them for caring for, and championing, animal welfare.”
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