Fleetwood pensioner hospitalised by seagull attack

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A pensioner has told of her horror when she was attacked by swooping seagulls as she walked home.

Lesley McLaughlin, 69, was hospitalisted with cuts to the top of her head when the birds attacked her on Borrowdale Avenue.

Still shaken by the ordeal, Mrs McLaughlin is pleading with residents to stop feeding them and encouraging them to nest, because next time it could be a child involved.

She said: “It’s been a 
terrible ordeal. I was walking along Borrowdale Avenue from my daughter’s house at about 6.30pm.

“I had my dog with me and was on my way home.

“All of a sudden I felt a thud at the top of my head and the next thing there was blood gushing down me.

“Then I looked up and saw the seagulls swooping above.

“I turned round to go back to my daughter’s house in Coniston Avenue but before I got there I collapsed.

“A lady who was doing her garden helped me and I went to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

“There’s a big cut on my head and a few smaller ones but they did’t stitch them 
because it was an injury from an animal and there could be a risk of infection.

“I’m on a course of antibiotics now.”

Mrs McLaughlin, of Albany Road, has lived in Fleetwood all her life and is used to seagulls but she says she has never seen anything like it.

“They really came out of nowhere, I couldn’t see any nests or baby gulls on the ground.

“It’s affected me more than I realised and I’m not keen to go out at the moment.

“I think they should be culled or at least their eggs removed.

“I would dread to think what they could do to a child, it could’ve been a lot worse.

“People have been really kind since and I’ve had flowers from my neighbours. I’m grateful for them.”

Chris Collett from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said: “I hope the lady who was attacked by the seagull is OK.

“Unfortunately, during the breeding season gulls can be quite aggressive if they feel their young are being threatened.

“This period only usually lasts for a short time though. Gulls have always been a 
feature of coastal towns and villages.

“This is because they find flat roofs a safe place to nest and there is an abundance of food such as discarded food in rubbish bins. Although it may not seem like it.

“We are against lethal 
control of gulls unless all non-lethal methods have been exhausted and the gulls pose a serious threat to health and public safety.

“Non-lethal methods include putting up physical barriers to deter nesting for the birds.”