Aggressive gull attacks tot in pastry snatch

Penny Siddle and son Harley Siddle-Haigh, lucky not be to hurt, look for gulls which are also attacking refuse bags
Penny Siddle and son Harley Siddle-Haigh, lucky not be to hurt, look for gulls which are also attacking refuse bags

A Scarborough woman has called for serious action to be taken about problem seagulls after her two-year-old son was attacked by an aggressive gull.

Penny Siddle was left shocked and angry when a seagull swooped down and snatched a sausage roll from the mouth of her two-year-old son, Harley Siddle-Haigh.

It’s just the last incident in which gulls have planned and carried out snatch attacks on people, including children.

The concerned mother has called for seagulls to be culled after the traumatic experience left her son shaken up and in tears but luckily unhurt.

Penny said: “The gull was really aggressive.

“Normally when you shoo them away they leave, but this one was coming back for more.

“It went straight in his face.

“Luckily he was all right but he was shook up and he was scared. He was strapped in his pram being attacked with a huge seagull grabbing the food from his mouth.”

Concerned for the safety of her children and others, Penny has called for more serious action to be taken by the borough council against the birds.

“I think they should start culling them again. If a dog bites or attacks a human they’re put down,” said Penny. “It’s the same difference.”

The incident happened in Vernon Road but this is not the only time her son has been attacked from above. “It stole something out of his hand, but this time it was his mouth. It was so close to his face.”

Cllr Andrew Jenkinson has also voiced his concerns about aggressive gulls, saying it could lead to someone being seriously injured in attempt to flee.

He spoke of his worry that one day a child may run out into the road and be hit by a car trying to escape being attacked from above.

Last week The Scarborough News reported how “seagull proof” sacks would be handed out by Scarborough Borough Council in the worst-hit areas of town in an attempt to deter the birds and prevent them from ripping into bin bags and littering the streets.

Residents took to Facebook to voice their opinions on the matter which divides the town.

Some suggested a cull on the “flying rats” while others have defended the gulls saying they have just as much of a right to be here.

Asking for more effective action, Terri Dixon commented: “The money would be better spent on tackling the root cause by culling the gulls.”

But Marie Jill Burns defended the birds saying: “We live in Scarborough, a seaside resort, where the birds and any other living creatures have as much right as you do to live here.”

Email or write to us with your views on how people can be protected from gulls.