A DOG walker who has been attacked by swooping seagulls four times has warned it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.
Mitch Wilson, 59, has been subject to the terrifying attacks while walking his Labrador, Pippa, along Bamburgh Road, Clavering, Hartlepool.
He says there are about 60 seagulls swooping low every day in the area. One of the birds flew full speed into Mitch’s back.
Mitch, a civil engineer, warned that if the same thing happened to a young child or pensioner, it would knock them off their feet and leave them seriously injured.
July is typically a time when seagull attacks increase as birds become protective of their newly-born chicks.
He is now calling for action and says something needs to be done to “get them back on the coast where they belong”.
“It’s getting out of control,” said Mitch, who lives in the town’s Alnwick Close with wife Deng LaiDi, 36.
“We are getting swarmed with seagulls. I have been attacked four times and I have seen it happen to other people.
“There is a school just around the corner. What if they start swooping down on the children?”
Mitch said he walks his dog three or four times every day and the seagulls are there most of the time.
He can also hear them on a night when he is in bed.
The dad of two added: “Something needs to be done about them.
“Maybe birds of prey would scare them back to the coast. That’s what needs to happen.
“Every time I am out walking now I am expecting them to come down at me.
“I was told about a story elsewhere where a seagull came down and went for someone’s eye and they ended up having to get it removed.
“What if something like that happens here?
“I don’t have any food when I am walking.They are coming down for no apparent reason.”
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Seagulls, like all other birds, are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the action that can be taken to control them is very limited.
“In our view the best long term solution is for property owners to take steps to prevent birds from nesting on their building.”
l HAVE you had any problems with seagulls? If so contact the Mail on (01429) 239380.