Seagulls nest at top of fire service animals rescues list

Seagull Image copyright Andrew Segal
Image caption Seagulls reportedly killed a tortoise and a terrier dog in Cornwall in 2015

Seagulls are the animal most rescued by firefighters in Cornwall, figures have revealed.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said it was involved in rescuing 201 animals over three years, from 2015 to 2017.

The birds topped the table, needing to be rescued 55 times, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

In second place, were dogs, which clocked up 42 rescues. Third was the classic firefighter rescue case - cats, with 28.

With the cat rescues, there were no details about how many were rescued from up trees.

Gull attacks

The gulls, which are protected under law, have had a bad press in the county in recent years, reportedly killing a pet tortoise and a Yorkshire Terrier in two separate attacks in 2015.

Those incidents resulted in the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) suggesting people attacked by aggressive gulls should wear hoodies for protection.

In a third case, in 2016, an 18-year-old woman fell 15ft (4.6m) from a St Ives harbour wall when a seagull tried to snatch her ice cream.

Firefighters spent 652 hours rescuing animals from 2015 to 2017 with the largest amount of time focused on livestock, which accounted for 459 hours.

In comparison, the Cornish service attended 3,350 fire callouts over the same period, spending more than 13,000 hours.

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A total of 26 horses were rescued by the fire service during the three-year period, along with 13 cows.

A number of different animals account for two rescues each over the three-year period including: ponies, deer, jackdaws, ducks, crows, swans, sheep, calves and lambs.

And, lastly, several species needed rescuing just the once, including: a raven, parrot, blackbird, bullock, budgie, puppy and a fox.

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