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Bright Orange Bird Thought To Be Exotic Turns Out To Be Seagull Covered In Curry

ryan.ford 8 Jul 2019

Veterinarians do some amazingly important work, but they must see some awful things in their days. It doesn't even have to be cases of animal cruelty, but just accidents and family misfortunes. I know I couldn't handle the heartbreak, which is one of the reasons I appreciate their work so much.

It's no wonder that vets might want to share some of the strange cases that come their way that aren't quite so serious, and have happy outcomes. Take this case of an odd bird, for example.

Veterinarians in the U.K. were left baffled after a call from some concerned citizens about a strangely large, bright orange bird.

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And no, it was not trying to sell anybody Froot Loops. But, if you followed your nose, you'd have no trouble finding this bird.

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Of course, tropical birds do come in some wonderful varieties of colors, but the U.K. is pretty far from tropical, so it's no surprise that the call came in.

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"This is one of the strangest casualty circumstances we have seen in a while," wrote Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in a Facebook post. "When they called to say they had picked up an orange bird, we had no idea what to expect — and would never have guessed at this!"

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And maybe the folks who found the bird should have figured out at least one part of the mystery a bit sooner.

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Because it wasn't an exotic bird, but a common seagull that had somehow, probably through mischief, managed to get itself covered in curry or turmeric powder, giving it not only a bold, orange hue, but also a distinctive smell.

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Needless to say, it took quite a bit to get the poor bird cleaned up.

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"It was all over his feathers, preventing him from flying properly. We have no idea how he got into this predicament but thankfully, apart from the vibrant colour and pungent smell, he was healthy."

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But the vets did manage to get the bird cleaned up in a nice bath.

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And they named him Vinny, after vindaloo curry, which is about as appropriate as you can ask for under such odd circumstances.

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Even after his bath, Vinny looks like he has a slight orange tint to his feathers.

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That curry is powerful! But the veterinarians say that he'll be ready to get his wings back in the sky before long.

"He is now looking much better and should be able to go for release very soon! As we say, we never know what will come through our doors next!"

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Now, seagulls are notoriously mischievous birds, driven by curiosity and hunger, and as crafty as they are bold.

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As ants ruin a picnic, seagulls ruin a trip to the beach. Or amusement park. Or an attempt to walk down the street holding French fries. Basically anywhere food is outdoors, you can expect to see, and possibly have to run, run so far away from, a flock of seagulls.

But a seagull covered in curry? That's a weird one — and yet, Vinny isn't even the first curry-covered gull found in Britain.

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Back in 2016, Vale Wildlife Hospital received a bright orange seagull.

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However, as The Guardian reported, there was a bit less mystery about this bird's circumstances. This gull had gotten too bold for its own good around a food factory's garbage bin and fallen into a vat of chicken tikka masala. The workers who rescued it promptly took it to Vale.

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As with Vinny, the vets were startled by his appearance.

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"He really surprised everyone here," said Lucy Kells, a veterinary nurse at Vale. "We had never seen anything like it before. The thing that shocked us the most was the smell. He smelled amazing, he really smelled good."

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It seemed that there was good reason why this gull, which earned the nickname "Gullfrazie" on Facebook, was enticed into that big curry vat.

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The Vale veterinarians found him to be under weight, so his hunger probably got the best of him around that tasty tikka masala. Can't really blame him, can you?

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After a few baths in dish soap, Gullfrazie cleaned up well.

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But he still needed a few weeks of care to get his weight up and re-waterproof his feathers.

Here's hoping they both learned a little bit about avoiding curry in the future!

h/t The Guardian

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