Seag­ulls usu­ally try to nick some of your chips but the one I came up against flew off with my purse

Ruther­glen gran stunned by crafty bird’s brazen heist

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Strat­ton Wil­liams

A brazen seag­ull swooped down on a Ruther­glen gran and flew off with her purse and brolly.

Pen­sioner Mar­garet Hull could not be­lieve her eyes when the mas­sive bird man­aged to carry her heavy shop­ping bag into the sky.

Mar­garet was in Aberdeen’s Walker Park with great- grand­daugh­ter Chloe Rutherford when the bird at­tacked.

The 77-year-old said: “I was sit­ting on a bench watch­ing Chloe play when the seag­ull started cir­cling me.

“Then it came down and took my poly bag and flew away with it in its beak. I couldn’t be­lieve it be­cause the bag was quite heavy.”

Mar­garet tried to grab the bag, which con­tained all her bank cards, but could not move fast enough be­cause of arthri­tis.

She even­tu­ally got her bag back when the bird dropped it.

She said: “Seag­ulls have al­ways come down if you’re eat­ing chips or some­thing but it’s get­ting bad when they go for you per­son­ally and fly off with things they can’t even eat.”

Mar­garet thinks that Aberdeen City Coun­cil should or­gan­ise a cull or some­thing sim­i­lar.

“These birds are mas­sive and very fright­en­ing,” she said.

Coun­cil bosses have is­sued peo­ple in the area with a sur­vivor’s guide to liv­ing with gulls.

But an ex­pert warned that the prob­lem is only go­ing to get worse un­less more re­search is car­ried out.

Kirsty Park, pro­fes­sor in bi­o­log­i­cal and en­vi­ron­men­tal sciences at Stir­ling Univer­sity, said there is not enough ev­i­dence on why the seag­ull pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing.

She said: “Food could be a fac­tor and so could the avail­abil­ity of flat roofs for nest­ing.

“But we don’t know why gulls are mov­ing from coastal to ur­ban ar­eas. We don’t know how long they sur­vive there and we don’t know how many young they pro­duce.”

In Scot­land it is illegal to in­jure or kill a seag­ull or dam­age an ac­tive nest or eggs with­out a li­cence.

These birds are mas­sive and fright­en­ing

Master thief Mar­garet was left out of pocket af­ter a seag­ull swiped her bag

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