Hungry Seals - Get the bird! - 13th October 2000

Seals and sea lions at the National Seal Sanctuary are being bullied by a flock of marauding seagulls.
The greedy gulls wait until feeding time at the National Seal Sanctuary before swooping down to grab the seals' fish dinner before some of the animals have a chance to move. Even the staff's lunchtime sandwich isn't safe.

The situation has now got so bad that staff are appealing for assistance from the public to help get rid of them.

Curator Ellen Preston said "The seagulls are becoming a real pain. They are pretty fearless and will stop at nothing, the poor seals get the fish pinched from right under their noses".

"We've tried a variety of things to scare them off but nothing seems to work for long", she added.

Now staff at the Sanctuary are asking anyone who has an idea of how to humanely get rid of the seagulls to get in contact with them.

"Scarecrows don't work as the gulls are used to the noisy hustle bustle of all the Sanctuary's visitors so we could do with a few suggestions," Ellen continued.

"If someone comes up with a practical scheme to keep the gulls away then we'll give them a free seal adoption membership for a year".

"A lot of visitors find it all highly amusing but I am sure that they'll won't be laughing when a gull nabs their ice cream on a trip to St Ives", added Ellen.

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