Seagulls seem to love food people eat — especially at the beach, where they’re notorious for seizing snacks from beachgoers. However, their apparent affinity for human cuisine might be the reason a group of seagulls recently became trapped in a tub of cooking oil carried by a truck in Massachusetts.
At least two dozen seagulls — likely lured by the smell of fried food — landed into the tub of used cooking oil situated in the back of a truck the evening of Sept. 21, the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth wrote in a Sept. 22 Facebook post.
They were unable to fly out because of their oil-coated wings and needed rescuing, according to the center, which said an animal control officer from the town of Grafton responded and was able to save most of the birds.
Twenty-four seagulls arrived at the wildlife center’s hospital for help around 8 p.m. on Sept. 21, according to the center.
“Their conditions range from mildly oiled to critical condition and unfortunately several had severe injuries and did not make it,” the center said.
The oil will be washed from the feathers of the surviving seagulls soon, according to the Facebook post, which shared photos of the center’s staff assessing and stabilizing the birds.
“The washing process will start in the next few days once they have had a chance to de-stress and eat a good meal,” the center said.
In one photo shared by the center, a seagull is seen standing upright with a full bowl of food to enjoy.
According to the center, washing oil off of a seagull is a tedious task and can last up to an hour.
South Weymouth is about 15 miles southeast of Boston.