A traumatized seagull was rescued by a wildlife officer after getting itself stuck between balcony railings during an apparent dog food raid, says a Yellowknife woman.
The unusual incident unfolded on July 14 at around 5:30 a.m. at the Bison Hill apartment building when local resident Kitty Dang awoke to the sounds of a bird in distress.
“I was jolted up by the seagull’s flapping wings and cry,” she said. “It sounded like a fight erupted among a group of seagulls. I thought some animals got hurt. Instead, it was one seagull stuck between the rails.”
She grabbed a towel and tried to free the bird but it was putting up a bit of fight, she said.
Afraid of injuring the animal or getting pecked herself, Dang called the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).
In an email to Yellowknifer, department spokesperson Meagan Wohlberg said a renewable resource officer with ENR’s North Slave Region received a call at 5:42 a.m. and responded to the incident.
The officer found the herring gull trapped between the railings of the balcony and sprang into action.
The rescuer was able to use a towel and gloves to free the bird from the railing and examine it for injury, as it had been thrashing around.
The bird suffered a mild scrape to the upper parts of its wings from all the flapping it was doing while stuck, but they were still in good working order, said Wohlberg. The officer released it off the balcony and it flew away.
Wohlberg said instances like these are not overly common but wildlife officers have responded to a few similar requests this year.
The resident made the right move by calling the authorities to handle the situation, she added.
According to Dang – the proud owner of a Shiba Inu named Evey – the gull swooped onto her balcony in an attempt to eat from her pet’s food bowl.
“It was just a hungry seagull who tried to share some of (Evey’s) snack, and got stuck because its mid-section was just a tad too wide,” she said. “I have lived here over three years now, and this has never happened before.”
“I was thankful no animals got hurt,” she added.
If you are experiencing a wildlife emergency, please contact the North Slave wildlife emergency line at 867-873-7181.