Video: Seagulls dive-bomb customers to protect baby bird at Natwest Bank in Ransomes Europark
14:47 11 August 2015
Bank customers were escorted in and out of an Ipswich branch under an umbrella today as dive-bombing seagulls protected their chick which had fallen from the nest.
Unsuspecting customers parking up at Natwest Bank in Ransomes Europark had to duck for cover when approaching the main entrance as the parent seagulls swooped on anyone getting to close to their offspring.
The baby seagull had fallen from a nest on the bank’s roof overnight and remained on the ground near the main entrance for most of the day before shuffling off to a more remote location at the bank.
Branch manager Lorna McQueen said two customers told staff they were “hit on the back of the head” by the protective seagulls early in the morning, saying they were more “stunned” than injured.
When reporting the incident to the RSPCA, Mrs McQueen said she was told that hiding under an umbrella would be one of the best deterrents and safety measures.
She therefore took it upon herself to offer customers the option of being escorted in and out of the branch under her large black umbrella she had retrieved from her car.
She said: “The RSPCA told me not to move the chick as once it has your scent on it, the parents could stop looking after it.
“The seagulls have nested on the roof before but something like this has never happened before.
“The RSPCA said they might not come out as it is not a priority, but I hope they do.”
A spokesman for the bank later confirmed the baby seagull was still alive and had begun to “move around a little”.
He added: “The young seagull has shuffled away from the door of the branch and the ATM, so the adult seagulls are no longer swooping on customers or staff.”
An RSPCA spokesman said: “We assess each call we receive on a case by case basis as many of these gulls, and other young animals, do not need rescuing as they should be looked after by their natural parents.
“Many fledglings discovered by members of the public are mistakenly thought to be injured or abandoned, and subsequently moved from their natural habitat. But their chances of survival are much better in the wild than in captivity.
“If the bird is injured, however, it may be a different story so it is important that is made clear on a call.
“Swooping is often just a protective mum’s way of keeping their babies safe. The best thing to do is keep a distance and monitor.”
To report an injured bird to the RSPCA, call 0300 1234999.