Ipswich: Warning to park users after man attacked by cormorant in Christchurch Park

Cormorant - by iwitness Graham Cannell

Cormorant - by iwitness Graham Cannell - Credit: citizenside.com

PARK users are today being warned to be wary of wildlife after a bird attacked a man as he was trying to release it.

It is believed a well-meaning passer-by spotted a cormorant which appeared to be trapped in some undergrowth by the Wilderness Pond in Christchurch Park. The man tried to release it, however the bird then lashed out and bit him on the cheek.

Park staff said the man had to go to hospital with his injuries and required stitches.

The bird was unharmed in the incident.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “The man was pecked in the cheek. These are potentially very dangerous birds.

“We understand that the passer-by was trying to help but we would urge anyone in a similar situation not to approach the bird but to contact park staff or the RSPCA.

“Cormorants can be very dangerous and very aggressive if they feel cornered. They have very sharp beaks.

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“This was a very rare incident.”

According to park staff, there is one cormorant which comes to the park on occasions.

The conspicuous waterbird is mostly found around the UK coastlines on rocky shore and coastal lagoons. The cormorant population has been increasing over the last few decades and there are thought to be about 35,000 birds present in Britain for the winter months between October and March.

They are known to be pests, and a recent survey by found that most fisheries have a problem with cormorants as they are considered a more dangerous predator than mink or otters.

Were you the man attacked by the bird? Email starnews@achant.co.uk or call 01473 324790.