Halloween may be upon us – but this is no trick.
People will be asked not to treat seagulls in Fleetwood and Cleveleys after a sharp rise in the number of attacks.
The bird was big and it left me bleeding
Warning signs are now due to be updated on beaches across Wyre after councillors voiced their alarm at new figures compiled by the council.
Health and communities boss Coun Vivien Taylor said: “In trying to combat the growing problem, Wyre Council will be encouraging people not to feed the birds. The message will be included on new beach signs.”
The number of seagull complaints has more than doubled in the past 12 months, with 14 complaints last year compared to 31 so far this year.
Coun Taylor said: “The level of complaints rises during the breeding season, but particularly during the months of July and August when reports of attacks on members of the public increase.
“The majority of the incidents occurred in the Fleetwood and Cleveleys areas which are the urban areas closest to their natural habitat.”
Earlier this year, teacher Chantelle Bradshaw was left terrified with a bloodied and bruised lip when a seagull attacked her – as it tried to rip a sausage roll from her mouth.
She had been walking down Victoria Road West in Cleveleys with her partner Steve Connolly and their young son Max when the bird swooped. Chantelle said: “I suppose to someone watching they would think it funny – cheeky seagulls.
“But it was a terrible shock and all I could think of was what if it had been my child.
“The bird was big and had a huge wingspan and it left me bleeding.
“It ripped the food out of my mouth. It could easily have seriously hurt a child or taken an eye out.”
The birds are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act of 1981, which makes it illegal to kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents, although David Cameron promised new measures after a dog was pecked to death in Cornwall earlier this year.