‘Seagull broke my pelvis’

Brid Harbour Top'Seagulls attacking the Public'PA1128-24e
Brid Harbour Top'Seagulls attacking the Public'PA1128-24e

AN ELDERLY woman who has spent three weeks in hospital with a broken pelvis after a seagull attack has called on the council to cull seagulls in the town.

Jennie Walker, 78, who is still recovering from her injuries in Bridlington Hospital, fell and broke her pelvis while trying to help an elderly man who had been swooped at by seagulls near her home in Kirkgate Mews.

And last week a 76-year-old man was left covered in blood after seagulls attacked him on Bridlington Harbour, leaving him needing 30 minutes of treatment by paramedics for two deep puncture wounds on his head.

Mrs Walker told the Free Press: “There are too many seagulls and they are dangerous, they need to be culled. “The council has to do something or this type of thing will keep happening”.

Seagulls have been a regular sight at Kirkgate Mews for a number of years, nesting on chimneys and giving birth to their young.

Mrs Walker, and her son and daughter-in-law Mick and Julie Walker, said that even though the council had put spikes on the chimneys and roofs, the seagulls were still building their nests – and attacking frightened residents when they step outside.

Mr Walker said: “My mum and dad had gone to help another elderly gentleman who had fallen because of the seagulls flying at him.

“My dad had stood him up against the wall and went to look for help, but a bird returned and the gentleman fell again and knocked my mum over with him.

“She has been seriously hurt and is in a lot of pain, but this could have been avoided if the seagull problem had been dealt with.”

Last Wednesday, Neville Palmer, 76, was attacked near the Shoe Zone store on the harbour, and has warned others that a similar attack “could be fatal”.

“I wanted to warn people, especially parents with young children and more frail older people, to be careful,” said Mr Palmer, who is from Rotherham but spends his summer in a caravan at Sewerby with his wife Rita.

“When the seagull attacked me I – continued on Page 3

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thought I had been hit with a baseball bat, that’s how hard it hit me. I was left in shock and my face was covered in blood. I wasn’t carrying food or drink.

“I am quite fit for my age, so I worry what would happen to someone more frail or a young child - I’m afraid the shock could well prove fatal. We have been coming to Bridlington for 30 years, but after the shock of this I would be worried about going down to the harbour again.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council have placed signs around the town, especially outside cafes and fish and chip shops, warning people not to feed the seagulls because they can become aggressive.

Steve Race, from the RSPB reserve in Bempton, explained that at this time of year, a number of young seagulls are just leaving their nests - with over protective mothers ready to attack anyone who approaches.

“You will see lots of young gulls being protected by their mothers at this time of year if they think the young are under threat,” said Mr Race.

“The problem is that a lot of the time people may not see the young gulls, as they could be behind a wall or a car, and people out in the town usually mean no harm at all.

“There is nothing that people can do apart from the obvious things - not feeding them and making sure rubbish is not dropped or left where the gulls can get at it.

“They are a scavenging bird and will try to steal food from people, because they recognise the trays that some people feed them from.”