On Sunday, my girlfriend and I were walking through the entrance of our apartment building when we heard a squawking noise coming from an internal drainpipe. A drainpipe that travelled five stories from the roof of the building down to the basement. We had no idea what it could be but it seemed pretty obvious there was some kind of animal trapped in that pipe.
With a bit of initiative, J managed to twist off the bottom of the drainpipe and a grubby little bird plopped out onto the ground. She scooped him up in her hands and placed him in a makeshift bed of toilet roll inside a little box and we took him up to our flat to check him over.
J barricaded herself in the spare room, wedging the door shut so that the cats couldn't force their way in. Jazz was screaming her head off outside the door, desperate to see what the new visitor was and whether he was in any way edible. And I set about phoning the RSPCA to see if they could come and collect it.
I've never had any experience with the RSPCA before and while I understand that a baby seagull is probably far down their list of priorities, I was astounded by the fact that they didn't seem to want to help and told me that they would probably not be out to collect it until the next day.
No, after a little research, we discovered that this seagull chick was only around a week old (its feathers hadn't even come in and it was incapable of flight) and in order to survive without its mother it would need to be kept warm and need to be fed every hour. There was no way we were going to be able to give the little fella the care he needed. And so, we tracked down an emergency vets and after a quick call to check they would take him in and see he was nursed back to help, I got in a cab (which cost me over £20 in total) and took him to a PDSA vet surgery.
Sitting in a vets waiting room with a seagull chick was interesting. I had a little girl sitting next to me asking a thousand and one questions about him, and every time somebody new came in to the waiting room they wanted to know what I had in the box. I felt like I was in a sketch show or something.
After a little wait, the vet called me in and he gave the little chick a thorough check over. He couldn't believe how tiny he was and that he'd survived a fall like that. From what he could tell, there was no damage other than one of his legs didn't seem quite right but was probably not broken. He said the chick would be put under a heat lamp for the night and fed regularly while they looked for a place for him in a rehabilitation centre. He's a lucky little guy and I really hope that he grows up big and strong.
I'm going to give the vets a call to check up on him tomorrow. It would be lovely if we could follow his progress into adulthood.
Have any of you rescued any unusual animals? What did you do with them?