'Oiled' gulls make full recovery


Nine gulls have been released back into the wild after they became contaminated by cooking oil earlier this month. Scottish SPCA was alerted to the distressed birds on 14 January by a member of the public in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. The birds were washed and treated, before making a full recovery. The source of the oil is currently unknown.

Once rescued, the gulls were transported south to Tayside, where they were collected and taken the 240-km journey to Scottish SPCA's National Wildlife Centre at Fishcross. Colin Seddon, Wildlife Centre Manager, commented: "We recently received nine birds which had been severely contaminated with cooking oil. Within a day of their arrival they were washed and treated to minimise any ingestion and feather damage.

"We are unsure how the gulls became contaminated, but it is often due to oil simply being dumped, washed down a drain which eventually ends up in a river or estuary or even from a rubbish tip where gulls often feed. Thankfully all nine birds made a full recovery and were released back into the wild."