Ely White Watch, gull rescues iiRSPCA Cymru and the same team of Cardiff firefighters twice came to the aid of gulls stricken by guttering on Monday (20 July). 

The animal welfare charity was alerted after a gull chick was spotted stuck in the gutters of a supermarket in the Heath area of the city.

Animal collection officer (ACO) Fiona Thomas enlisted the help of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Ely White Watch, who were able to reach the gull utilising ladders – shortly before 11am.

The RSPCA examined the gull and found he had a dropped wing, but – thankfully – the bird recovered well at a local veterinary practice, before being transferred to a specialist wildlife centre for further rehabilitation and care.

Remarkably, less than seven hours later, the RSPCA had to enlist the support of the same firefighters from the Ely White Watch – after another gull was hampered by guttering at a property on Brook Road in the Fairwater area of the city.

Firefighters again used ladders to reach the bird – who was found to be exhausted, but uninjured. The RSPCA gave the bird food and water, and the house owners will monitor the gull’s progress should further assistance from the RSPCA be required.

ACO Fiona Thomas said: “We often enlist the support of our friends at the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to come to animals in need. But approaching the same firefighters twice on the same day – to attend almost identical incidents, is a new one on me.

“We’re so grateful to Watch manager David Holdsworth, and firefighters Paul Williams and Josh Davies for their assistance; in what was another great advert for what we can do working together for animal welfare.

“Fortunately, these efforts have really helped two gulls who were stricken in guttering. The first is doing well and will get further care at one of our specialist wildlife centres for his wing, while the second is being monitored after being fed and watered in situ.

“Our work with wildlife sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves – but throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, RSPCA officers have been on the frontline helping wild animals in emergency situations – like these gulls.”

Should you wish to help the RSPCA with work like this, you can donate online.