Plymouth Wildlife Sanctuary urges public to be kinder to gulls

The post, shared by Athena Wildlife Care on Facebook, explains the effect humans have on gull behavior

A Plymouth animal sanctuary has posted a message reminding Plymouth residents to ‘understand gulls’. Many Plymothians have a complicated relationship with the seagulls that frequent downtown and Hoe neighborhoods.

The post, from Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary, reminds people of the role humans play in the lives of gulls, whether it’s feeding them or disturbing their environment. During the summer, gulls often fly overhead, trying to steal chips, ice cream cries, and sandwiches from the hands of people enjoying the sun.

However, all species of gulls are protected, as stated on the RSPB website, and it is illegal to intentionally harm a gull, destroy its nest or harm the contents of the nest. The post, shared on Athena Wildlife Care’s Facebook page, encourages local residents to “understand” gulls, rather than hate them.

Read more: Remarkable CCTV footage shows a thug carrying a seagull into a store before throwing it at a man in the street

The message reads: “Our attitude towards herring gulls needs to change. They are intelligent and opportunistic, but their numbers have dropped by 50% in the last 30 years, making them yet another species to be on the red list.

“Gulls don’t need to be shot – they need to be understood!”

Plymouth has both herring and common gulls in the city. Although the post talks specifically about herring gulls, all species of gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The message explains how human interference affects the seagull’s behaviors:

“They steal our food…we feed them.”

“They are invading our roofs…we have invaded their nesting place.”

“They search our streets…we litter our streets.”

“They should be at sea…we’ll overfish.”

“They’re coming inland…we’ve got mountains of landfills.”

“They rush to attack people…we run them over, attack them maliciously, poison them, shoot them…they protect their babies.”

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