Original Looe Bakery owner Tonia Lewis regularly witnesses customers being attacked for their pasties and cakes!
If you live in sunny Looe, or have ever visited, you will have witnessed one or more seagulls happily and greedily wolfing down Cornish Pasties, ice-cream, fish and chips and even Looe Bakery’s most recent product line - hog puddings! Just about anything edible, in fact!
The aerial pests brazenly snatch their ill-gotten gains from the hands of the unwary. However frustrating that is from the point of view of a victim nothing can be done to stop them as gulls became a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Anyone convicted of cruelty to a gull can be fined a maximum of £5,000 and/or face a jail sentence of six months. So, please don’t be tempted to lash out if one relieves you of your grub. It’s cheaper to buy a replacement pasty!
Seagulls are omnivores, they’ll eat just about anything including, if you believe The Sun (I know that’s a big ‘if’), an entire chihuahua! Yuk. Gull experts will tell you that they are simply misunderstood creatures. Peter Gill, who has been studying gulls for over 40 years said: “Urban gulls are not understood at all. They are not thugs. They do whatever they can to avoid physical conflict." Umm, many in Looe may disagree with that statement, especially when gulls hatch their young and attack anyone within easy reach.
However, what is not debatable is that gulls have developed techniques to ensure they get their share of the spoils. These ‘skills’ include swooping across the front of people in a bid to spook them and get them to drop their food for their mates to gobble up, right through to actually snatching it directly from the hands of their victims. If that is too much effort another favourite ploy is simply waddling up to emmets begging for food. That works too.
So, why do seagulls eat Cornish Pasties? Well, because they are blooming tasty and they are free – you just need to nick or beg one from a human. It’s easier than catching fish!
Don’t forget to order your Cornish Pasties from Looe Bakery …. but don’t leave it to the birds!