Galapagos red-footed booby found in Sussex

Red Footed Booby Image copyright WRAS
Image caption The red-footed booby was in an exhausted state after being washed ashore

A bird native to the Galapagos Islands in the South Pacific has been found thousands of miles from home.

The red-footed booby was discovered in "an exhausted state" on the beach at St Leonards, Sussex, on Sunday afternoon.

The seabird, which is related to the gannet and believed to be a juvenile, was washed ashore with its feathers in a poor state and slightly underweight.

It is currently being cared for at the RSPCA Mallydams Wood centre in Hastings.

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The bird was rescued by the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) following a call from a member of the public.

Founder Trevor Weeks said: "It's an absolutely stunning bird.

"It was looking extremely exhausted, just sitting on the beach.

"Hopefully it will be released back to the wild."

He added: "As far as I can tell, one has never been found in the wild in the UK before.

"From what we gather, one did visit Spain a few years ago, but we can't find many other references to these birds visiting Europe at all."

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