Tourists attacked by seagull

Holidaymakers Aela, Anna and Aaron were attacked by a seagull on Marischal Street
Holidaymakers Aela, Anna and Aaron were attacked by a seagull on Marischal Street

A holidaymaker and her two children were attacked by a seagull on Marischal Street on Monday afternoon as they ate their lunch.

Anna Shildrick was walking down Marischal Street with her two children, Aela Morales, 13, and Aaron Morales, 17, when the bird swooped.

Speaking to the Buchanie moments after the event a clearly shaken Ms. Shildrick said: “I was eating my pastry when suddenly out of nowhere it swooped down and went straight for the pastry in my mouth.”

“My shrieks probably scared everyone on the street.”

Aela Morales said: “It was just really scary.

“The first one when it just scratched mum I was okay but then the second one attacked and it was very frightening.”

Anna and Aela, on holiday from Mexico, took refuge in the doorway of the nearby Something Special shop while Aaron ran for cover in Iceland.

The Something Special shopkeepers then ushered Anna and Aela inside as the seagull lingered outside.

Anna thanked the shop staff for “rescuing” them, calling them “heroes.”

Fiona Kirkpatrick, who works at Something Special said: “It just swooped right down on top of her and scratched her hair.”

The incident has sparked debate online with a post on local Facebook page The Only Way Is Peterhead stating: “The council now need to take more drastic action in the town centre with regards to the menace that is the seagulls, after many witnessed some tourists being attacked by a seagull in Marischal Street numerous times this afternoon.”

By Tuesday morning the post had attracted over 480 likes and 99 comments.

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We recently began a five year strategy to reduce problems caused by gulls in our coastal communities, including launching a Seagull Survival Guide to help people who may encounter problems.

“While the council has no statutory duty to take action against gulls, it does recognise the need to protect communities and we are sorry to hear of this incident.

“Hawks are frequently used to deter gulls in town centres, but everyone has a part to play, in particular by not feeding the gulls and disposing of litter appropriately.

“We will shortly be displaying posters warning of the dangers posed by the gulls, some of which have become used to receiving food from the hands of humans, voluntarily or involuntarily.”