How seagulls ruined one man's holiday

The seagulls showed no mercy as they destroyed the unfortunate tourist's ice cream. Photo / iStock
The seagulls showed no mercy as they destroyed the unfortunate tourist's ice cream. Photo / iStock

An unlucky tourist was left with a hefty fine after he dropped his ice cream cone while being attacked by seagulls.

Yorkshore man Steve Higgens, 52, was strolling along a promenade on England's South Devon Coast when he "fancied an ice cream".

"I had just got one and began to continue my walk when I was attacked by six or seven seagulls, he told the Plymouth Herald. "I'm a tourist, I'm not used to things like that happening and it was completely unexpected."

During the attack, Mr Higgens' ice cream was completely destroyed and he was left holding only the cone, which he placed on the ground nearby.

"The attack left me really shaken-up. The gulls had taken my ice cream but had left me with the cone. I was scared that they would come back again, I was scared for my own safety."

However, it didn't end there. To add insult to injury, Mr Higgens was slapped with an £80 ($169) fine for littering.

"I was a tourist, I don't live down there, I'm not aware of these things," he said.

After the incident, he wrote a letter to 3gs, the environmental and civil enforcement company who issued the fine, debating whether dropping an ice cream cone was in fact littering.

"It was food-stuffs, it's biodegradeable, so it's not going to stay there forever.

"If there was a family on holiday and a child was attacked whilst eating, and dropped food on the floor would the parents be fined?"

"If things like this are going to happen I won't come back. Is there a big problem with seagulls?

"And are people often fined for dropping food? It is something that needs to be addressed, people will be put off visiting the area."

Unfortunately for Mr Higgens, 3gs responded and said they were satisfied the fine was issued correctly.

And it seems seagull attacks could continue to be problem - just last year the UK government scrapped a project that aimed to control aggressive seagulls on England's southwest coast.

- nzherald.co.nz

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