They may not be one of our most common patients in care, but they're certainly a favourite.
This juvenile herring gull arrived over the weekend, reportedly having been attacked by a fox.
Incredibly, he'd sustained no obvious injuries but, since his arrival, he is yet to show us his flight capabilities. The vet team X-rayed the youngster to be sure there was no skeletal damage that was preventing him from taking flight.
With his X-rays clear, he's been placed into one of our large pond aviaries, where he can stretch his wings, have a paddle, and receive food on tap!
He is receiving some support feeds during the day, as gulls can, on occasion, believe it or not, be fussy eaters whilst in care. As gulls are social foragers, they will obtain food when they see other gulls flock to the source.
Unfortunately, being on his own and a youngster, he's a little unsure of his food, but, when encouraged, will eat for himself. Hopefully, it won't be long until he's back with his flock.
After finally gaining some weight, and showing absolutely no reason why he wasn't regularly flying, the gull was given the opportunity and space to take proper flight. Unlike many of our other bird species, waterbirds take flight horizontally and often need a long run up. With a neighbouring gull flock located just on the other side of our site, we were over the moon to see the gull finally take flight and head over to join his flock! Check out the video below to see his release.