Roy and Brenda Pickard were held hostage by seagulls inside their home for almost a week in Lancashire, in northwest England, with the angry birds threatening them every time they opened their door.
The elderly couple was not able to leave their house for six days as two seagull chicks nested over the canopy on the front door, reported the Daily Mail. Roy even ended up at the hospital after trying to make an escape.
The birds nesting on their door were Herring Gulls, which according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are decreasing in number and are protected under law.
“They are protected once nesting and so there are limited solutions available,” Wyre Council spokesman told The Telegraph.
RSPB states that Herring Gulls are extremely noisy gulls, and they are found throughout the year along the coast. The seagulls often adopt rooftops as nesting sites because they are safe from predators, and homes are a good source of food.
Since the chicks were just nine feet above the ground, every time the elderly couple tried to get out of their front door, the over-protective gull parents would fiercely attack them.
Eventually, Roy was attacked on the neck by the gull and had to go to the hospital for treatment, reported the Telegraph.
“If that bird had hit me in the face instead of the back of the head, I dread to think how seriously injured I would have been,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
Roy and Brenda Pickard were unable to leave their home as the aggressive birds would swoop on them😲https://t.co/r2PKa5h92k
— The Daily Record (@Daily_Record) June 21, 2019
“The whole thing has been terrible. I’ve not been able to go out of the front door. If I try to get out of the door, the two adult birds are right there and I’ve got no chance. It’s genuinely frightening,” said the 77-year-old man, who is a retired ambulance driver.
He said Brenda fell sick, and therefore she was relying on him to go out. “Thankfully, we have an integrated garage and I can get into it from the kitchen, open the garage door and drive out to get our shopping, but I have to leave the garage door open, which isn’t ideal,” he told the Telegraph.
Roy then contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), RSPB, and his local BBC radio station, and it was BBC Radio Lancashire that came to their rescue and set up a temporary gazebo, so he can sneak away out of sight of the birds, according to the Daily Mail.
“We have visited Mr. Pickard to assess the situation and have given advice on how he can deal with the gulls. For now, a solution is in place which will enable Mr. Pickard to take his wife to her private appointment,” said Wyre Council spokesman, according to multiple media reports.
Roy said he appreciated the help from the media. “They are the only ones who seem to have taken our situation seriously and offered practical help,” he said, according to Black Pool Gazette.
RSPB explained that all wildlife birds are protected by law. “It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built, or to intentionally kill, injure or take chicks or adults, or intentionally take or destroy any eggs,” it said in an online post.