A WOMAN was left splattered with blood after being viciously attacked by a seagull in the street.
Judith Henderson was getting into her car after picking up her mum at 10.30am yesterday when the seagull swooped.
Shocked Judith was left with a two-inch gash on her head and blood dripping down her front after the incident in Wolviston Road, Hartlepool.
Ironically her husband Brian had reported fears of seagull attacks just a day earlier after noticing the gulls swooping down near to residents in the street as they walked along the road.
Judith, 55, a receptionist at a town music school who lives in nearby Heathfield Road, said: “I had just picked my mum up and I was walking round the side of the car when this seagull just swooped down. I didn’t even see it coming, I had no idea what was happening.
“I just panicked when I saw the blood, it was just a shock.
“There is a young seagull chick on the grass verge, so the seagulls which are swooping are obviously protecting their young.”
Mum-of-three Judith was patched up at the doctor’s after her ordeal, and is thankful the seagull didn’t attack any children in the street.
But husband Brian, a 57-year-old plumber, is angry that nobody appears to be in a position to do anything to prevent similar incidents happening.
He said: “I rang the council and the RSPB at Saltholme on Monday when I saw what was happening.
“The young chick is at the side of the road, and the seagulls are on the tops of the houses opposite protecting them. When they swoop down, imagine if that’s a young kid it attacks.
“I understand that there’s probably not a lot that can be done, but surely some expert can come and remove the chick?”
Lydia Tague, marketing officer at RSPB Saltholme on Seaton Carew Road, said the chick is likely to fly off of its own accord within the next day or so.
She said: “What has happened here is the parent bird is protecting its young.
“Unfortunately they can be a little over-zealous at times. When the chick flees the nest, it settles at a spot until it plucks up the courage to fly away, and that usually happens after about a day once it gets used to being out of the nest.”