Dive-bombing gulls causing a real flap in Sunderland

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AGGRESSIVE seagulls are leaving Wearsiders in a flap, according to new figures.

Concerned members of the public contacted Sunderland City Council on 88 occasions last year requesting information, or asking for the removal, of the birds.

Reports included seagulls dive bombing visitors to the coast, while pensioner Amelia Wild was left stuck in her Monkwearmouth home, due to one bird who would swoop when she stepped outside.

After one attack, the 82-year-old had to be taken to A&E at Sunderland Royal Hospital after the bird struck, causing her to fall backwards and split her head.

Figures today show that since January last year, there have been:

l 28 requests for seagull advice – this is where an officer will have either visited or offered advice and a leaflet over the phone.

l 60 requests for the council to catch and remove a seagull to a sanctuary. Herring gulls have protected status.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Parent birds often swoop during the breeding season, especially when the young birds leave the nest and are unable to fly.”