A baby seagull which evaded being captured for five days after being spotted with a barbed fish hook in its beak has finally been caught – thanks to a McDonald’s hash brown.
The injured bird was first spotted last week outside the fast-food branch in Exeter, Devon.
The elusive gull escaped many attempts made by the RSPCA and local bird lover Jenny Steer, who is renowned for rescuing and rehabilitating gulls.
At least two to three times a day, Jenny has returned to the site in the hope of catching the bird armed with tempting food seagulls like, such as dried dog food.
But on Monday, she was finally successful in enticing the bird with hash browns kindly provided by McDonald’s.
Photographer Jenny said: “I was shaking because I just wanted to get it. You imagine going down every day – it’s just a nightmare.
“So, when I got it, it was amazing.”
The seagull was taken to St David’s Veterinary Hospital in Exeter where the hook was removed, and the bird was given antibiotics and pain relief.
Jenny took the seagull back to McDonald’s later that morning to set it free.
Posting on Facebook, she said: “After going to a few times a day this last week to try and catch the juvenile gull, I felt confident about a method to catch him.
“So, I went down to McDonald’s as usual having decided to use the enclosed bin area to trap him. I had a practice run yesterday where I fed him there and he went in.
“There were three employees there this morning and one of them was adamant he could catch him in a net. I pleaded to leave it to me as they’d scare him off.
“Thankfully they left me to it. I put hash browns in the inner bin area with soaked dog biscuits outside.
“He was a feisty chap and went straight in with another juvenile, I was shaking as I tentatively went over and pulled the door shut! I then went in with a crate and towel to catch him but he managed to squeeze under the enclosed area!
“Luckily, I caught him with help from the manager and took him straight to St David’s Vets. Luckily I had my wire cutters which the vets used to cut the barbed hook.
“They successfully removed a barb from his beak and another in his head! They injected a long lasting antibiotic and anti-inflammatory pain killer.
“So he was good to go! This little guy had been like this over a week!”
By Ollie Buckley, SWNS
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