Ok, so ‘getting mugged’ may be over egging it a little bit.
I have just watched a seagull steal a sandwich right from a tourist’s mouth. The unsuspecting victim was merrily munching on their sarnie, minding their own business, not realising that they were being circled by half a dozen scavengers. Each one just as vicious and unpleasant as any vulture. Then one spotted its moment. It swooped from behind, slamming over the tourist’s shoulder and snatching the sandwich from their hands.
There were screams, swearing, shouting, but it was all much too late. The sandwich was long gone.
Now I’m an animal lover but that really is a closer encounter than anyone wants!
Luckily this tourist was an adult and other than being a bit shaken they seemed fine. But seagulls have sharp beaks and aren’t afraid to use them. It could have been very different if a child had been holding that sandwich.
And I see this every time I go to the beach.
So what can you do to make sure your lunch isn’t pilfered? That crafty thieves don’t nick that delicious Cornish clotted cream ice cream you’ve just bought extra sprinkles for? That a winged attacker doesn’t make off with your chips, and maybe part of your finger with them?
It’s really simple. Don’t feed the seagulls! If you see anyone feeding seagulls, tell them to stop! They really truly are not your friendly park ducks all gentle and quacking, they are vicious and a real pest problem for many seaside towns in Devon and Cornwall. Would you head out into the town to feed the rats in the gutter? No? Then please don’t feed our seagulls!
Other ways to avoid the gulls- hold your food close to your chest (you can spot the locals by how close they hold their food!), head inland or at least close to buildings as the gulls like to hunt in open spaces, or try out some of the marvellous local cafes and eat indoors!