Animals in the wild seem subject to strange lives and accidents thanks to human activity. Veterinarians at the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital were in for quite the surprise one day. Strange calls started coming in regarding sightings of an unidentifiable, brightly plumed orange-colored bird that looked out of place. Once the bird was captured and given a well-deserved bird bath, the staff at Tiggywinkles soon uncovered the animal’s true identity: a commonplace seagull covered in curry. Just how did this seagull come to confuse the public as a rare and undiscovered creature?
Bold Beautiful Bird
In the UK, the sight of an exotic looking bird on the side of the road caught the attention of the passerby. No one working at the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital knew what to expect, once they were alerted about the strange animal. There was plenty of excitement surrounding rescuing an unusual bird, who had lost its way and ended up near a highway.
When the bird was brought to the staff at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, the animal was reluctant to let anyone get too close. The bird required a good scrub so that the team could better identify the poor creature. Something about the bird picked up near highway A41 was a bit off. The animal’s striking color and pungent odor would prove to give everyone a clue about what possibly happened.
Smells So Good
Once enough, brave staff members managed to bathe the bird; they discovered their newest patient wasn’t such a rare and exotic breed. The soap and water revealed the bird was a herring gull that had an incident with some curry or turmeric. Other than surviving a temporary dye job and smelling more like chana masala than the sea, the gull was healthy and unharmed. Hospital staff dubbed the seagull, “Vinny,” which was short for Vindaloo curry. After being doused by the heavily perfumed spices, the seagull was unable to use their wings to fly and move about normally.
Pictures of the gull’s transformation following a long bath went viral on social media. Vinny’s adventures at TIggywinkles Wildlife Hospital Facebook page received 3.2 thousand likes, 1.2 thousand shares, and 592 comments. Facebook user John Paul had a joking response, “Orange you glad you were saved bird…” Nancy Nunemaker DeMuro commented, “Well lucky bird to be rescued and cleaned up. It probably also will never have inflammation for the rest of its life.” Matches C Malone had food on the brain, responding, “Butter chicken anyone?’ Vinny’s story also made headlines on CNN, USAToday, and other outlets.
One Exotic Commoner
Vinny, the seagull, was not the first bird to end up coated in curry spices and gain widespread attention. In 2016, a seagull named Gullfrazie managed to land in a UK factory’s vat of tikka masala while out scavaging for food. Similar to Vinny, hospital staff were perplexed about why the bird smelled so deliciously good. Thankfully, in both cases, the birds were relatively unharmed and needed to be cleaned up before their eventual release. Unlike Gullfazie, it is still a mystery how Vinny managed to turn his plumage orange and smell ‘curry-licious.’
After a rough start with spices, the Internet is hopefull Vinny the famous seagull will avoid future run-ins with curry dishes. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital is located in Buckinghamshire, UK, and although staff tries to be prepared for anything, Vinny’s curry misadventure made work interesting. Staff in charge of Vinny’s birdbath were splashed with curry water during the clean-up process. Once Vinny was his usual self, things were a lot calmer. Unbelievably, Vinny’s viral story is a rare occurrence, but luckily he was doused in curry and not paint or Cheetos.
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