'Drunk' seagulls have been confusing the RSPCA in Somerset

Dozens of ‘drunk’ seagulls have been cared for by vets in Devon Somerset and Dorset with locals suspecting the birds got into alcohol leftover by beachgoers

Dozens of ‘drunk’ seagulls have been cared for by vets in Devon Somerset and Dorset with locals suspecting the birds got into alcohol leftover by beachgoers

"We had a couple of isolated cases a year ago".

"At first, the birds look like they have botulism but then, after vomiting, most seem to recover", she said.

RSPCA Inspector Jo Daniel, who has been rescuing the birds with colleagues Clara Scully and Paul Adams along a stretch of coast from Dorset to Devon, said: "The birds absolutely stink of alcohol when we collect them so now our vans smell like pubs".

The sight of gulls appearing intoxicated during high summer has become associated with so-called Flying Ant Days, when the birds feast on the huge blooms of insects as they take flight to mate.

Firefighters were called to one gull behaving erratically on a roof before falling off in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

The RSPCA centre at West Hatch near Taunton in Somerset has had to treat almost 30 birds passed out and "reeking of alcohol" in the past fortnight.

Left scratching their heads to the reasons why staff are concerned the birds have gained access to waste products from local breweries or alcohol producers.

The charity described the effect on the birds as similar to how a human would react to excessive alcohol.

One theory is that they could be drinking leftover alcohol at beaches across the South West rendering them too drunk to walk or fly.

Brewery waste can also be used as a compost and feed, so narrowing down where the seagulls are guzzling the alcohol from is hard.

He said: "Sadly, a few of the birds have died but majority have made good recoveries and have been released after a few days in our care".

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