Drunk gulls found 'stinking of alcohol'

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Media caption,
Drunk gulls have trouble standing, but most recover after vomiting

Drunken gulls "stinking of alcohol" are being rescued by the RSPCA along the south coast of England.

"Disoriented and confused" birds have been found in Devon and Dorset after apparently devouring brewery waste.

Officials from an RSPCA centre in West Hatch, Taunton, Somerset, said the birds struggled to stand, but seemed to recover after vomiting.

Calls to rescue drunk gulls started in mid-June. Since then, many birds with the same symptoms have been treated.

"At first the birds look like they have botulism but then, after vomiting, most seem to recover," said RSPCA officer Jo Daniel.

"But the birds absolutely stink of alcohol when we collect them so now our vans smell like pubs."

'Gulls' night out'

RSPCA vet David Couper said the birds were staggering around and losing their balance "just like a person would if they'd had too much to drink".

"The birds appear disoriented and confused and struggle to stand," he said.

"I'd urge any local vets who see birds coming in with similar symptoms to give them a chance to recover from the effects of the alcohol."

RSPCA officer Clara Scully said: "They've really been suffering with hangovers after a gulls' night out."

The RSPCA is urging local breweries and distilleries to check waste is secure and that wildlife cannot get to it.

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