Aberdeen student attacked by gull in street

By Ed Earl, 8 Aug 2014 10.34am

AN ABERDEEN student today spoke of the moment he was left with a cut lip as a seagull snatched food from his mouth.

Robert Cruickshanks, of Aberdeen, said he was targeted by the bird in the Gallowgate area of Aberdeen.

The 22-year-old said he had been eating a small bit of focaccia bread when the bird swooped.

The self-employed IT worker and student said: “A couple of seagulls were harassing me and following me around.

“I then got hit in the face by a seagull.

“It bust my lip open and grabbed the piece of food out of my mouth as I was eating it – it stuck its beak in my mouth.”

The University of Aberdeen medical science student said: “It was pretty strange and was shocking.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The herring gull is on the RSPB’s red list, affording it the highest possible conservation status.

“This means that the council is extremely limited in any action it can take to control the population.

“Aberdeen City Council’s housing repairs team undertakes an annual programme of nest and egg removal from council-owned public and domestic buildings. “

David McConnell 9 months ago
I love this story, the seagulls in Aberdeen are vicious, but straight from his mouth ? Jeez, #1stworldproblems
Anonymous 9 months ago
What a Wimp...does his mother know he's is out ?
Anonymous 9 months ago
What a Wimp
Dunky 9 months ago


Call yourself a student...what's wrong with chips in a bap, egg banjo...or a buttery?

Probably washing it down with an organic smoothie.

Gary1983 9 months ago
I hope a Seagull sh*tes in his chips at the weekend
Maximus Sheridan 9 months ago

Maybe it was trying to do him a favour and get rid of his stupid goatee. 

Jordan Rowson 9 months ago

This is seriously what the EE publish these days?


Melissa Leslie 9 months ago
I do think this article is a bit on the extreme side, but at the same time I cannot believe these birds are as highly protected as they are. They carry disgusting diseases, steal our food, burst open our rubbish out onto the streets and keep us awake at night with their irritatingly loud squawking (even double glazing doesn't completely shut them out!) Fair enough this guy is a grown man and others have said he should 'man up', but what if this was a little boy or girl eating their sandwich? How far will they go until the council and any other organisations farther up the chain of command (RSPB?) will take action to cut down the amount of attacks that go on? They can do serious harm. So now we are at a point in this city where we can't even enjoy our lunch outside on the rare nice days that we get. I myself have had my lunch stolen out of my hands by a seagull, the most annoying thing being that it was so hot the bird dropped it straight away and flew off. There needs to be a middle ground found here. I can deal with the squawking at 1, 2am, just stick in a pair of earplugs when it gets bad but I'm sorry something has to be done about the food and scavenging situation, Aberdeen needs a cull!
Anonymous 9 months ago
Another Wimp
R Scott-Paul 9 months ago
"...had been eating a small bit of focaccia bread when the bird swooped."

Greg Shearer 9 months ago
The self-employed IT worker and student said:

“A couple of horny seagulls were harassing me and following me around.

“I then got hit in the face by a seagull.

“It bust my lip open and grabbed the piece of food out of my mouth as I was eating it – it stuck its beak in my mouth.”

“It was pretty strange and was shocking.”

"The next thing I remembered was waking up in hospital, sore and bleeding."

Robert was found unconscious bleeding from the mouth, covered in a gooey white substance. Grampian police have remanded the suspected ringleader of the sexual assault and are awaiting DNA tests.

Eddie Ross 9 months ago
Lets hope he pulls through.
Alan Craigie 9 months ago
I'm afraid to step on snail in my garden in case some animals rights terrorist society is watching. Crazy backwards country where vermin have more rights than people.
Colin Warren 9 months ago
Actually Alan,Snails are not vermin they kill the Bugs in the Garden that destroy veg and plants. I always pick up snails off the path before they Get trod on..Long live the Majestic Snail.
Tingtong from Tooting 9 months ago

same happened to me a while ago on belmont street..... never thought to contact the papers about it or use the words attacked


I actually thought it was quite funny

Greg Shearer 9 months ago
" stuck its beak in my mouth.” - Sounds like you have been a victim of sexual assault. Something needs to be done before they start pecking at our peckers.
Steve Thomson 9 months ago
His parents should have taught him to eat with his mouth closed.    I wonder if the Seagull used tongues. Reading the article again it seems more like a Tiff between a couple .  Focaccia  bread   I really needed to know the type of bread. to enhance the article.   
Steve Thomson 9 months ago
Wow we live in a city by the sea and are complaining about Gulls.   Its simple be aware. If we humans were not so dirty and left such a mess  they would not be attracted into our cities.  God forbid we had some on the nasties that inhabit Australia etc .   Funny how you never hear of fishermen moaning about Gulls.  Just silly people who think the planet belongs to them. Should we just slaughter every animal that inconveniences our lives a little.   So the motto of this little mans incident appears to be..... Kill animals because he cant be bothered to show a little awareness in his surroundings.    I mean when crossing a road you look for cars.   Is it too much to ask in breeding season, in a city by the sea, you keep a reasonable amount of wit about you.   Are we really to teach children that if animals cause even a small inconvenience that they are simply disposed of.   And we wonder why society has problems and life becomes cheaper by the day. 
Kevin Gallacher 9 months ago

I get your point but there is a difference with animals being inconvenient and animals aggressively attacking you for food.

Sea gulls get aggressive when there are large populations and they get desperate for food. These aren't small animals either they can have a wingspan of upto 2m. I have been attacked once by a seagull and they are quite strong and can be very vicious. What wits are you talking about because the only thing you can do is not have food outside?

Steve Thomson 9 months ago
I regularly sit with my family at the beach, picnics etc, and like most have the odd fish and chips.   And yes sea gulls get hungry and desperate for food, but Ive never been attacked and thats because we keep a look out or sit somewhere, that inhibits them swooping down.   Surely its not beyond human wit to realise we should be grateful for our natural environment and life alongside other species, rather than seeking to destroy them.   
tweetmuzza 9 months ago
Rubbish. In Aberdeen they should be treated like rats with wings. Would you be happy if there was the same amount of rats running around the streets as there are Herring/seguls? I doubt it. 
Brian Henderson 9 months ago
There are
Just because you dont see them under your feet that doesnt mean they arent there.
tweetmuzza 9 months ago
My point is if rats were attacking people for food would you still be against a cull?  No you wouldn't because they are vermin. The same a the seagulls should be. 
Steve Thomson 9 months ago
If you leave food piled high and buckets open you will get rats running amok,  thats why we have environmental health etc and people tend to keep their houses and  living areas clean. Lions, Bears, Sharks, Crocs, will attack humans, should we eliminate them as well.   Saying that a sea gull swooping down for food is hardly a polar bear attack. But if we Humans were more aware, and cleaner,  their would hardly be any problem. 
Margaret-Sanger 9 months ago
They seem to have no fear, my friend had a similar experience.  The gull came in from behind, grazed her shoulder and and snatched the food from her mouth... a classic fly-by food mugging if ever there was one!  Definitely time for a gull-cull!  The expression, 'being shat-upon from a great height' can be used quite literally with these creatures too!  
Gary1983 9 months ago
Man up!
SirWillieOfG 9 months ago
Eddie Ross 9 months ago
JonA 9 months ago
Welcome to seagull city! I'm sure that there are plenty of actions which the council could adopt to reduce and control the seagull population but they don't have the cash/desire to do so.
Nicholas Fletcher 9 months ago
Not as many as you'd think, Every place I've lived in with gulls have had the same problem, its not just an Aberdeen issue, I reckon the one sin North wales could give the ones up here a run for there money size wise. the best tactic apart from fire, is to prick the eggs, so they still incubate them hopefully long enough so they don't have another clutch.
tweetmuzza 9 months ago
They should not have protected status in towns and cities. It's a nightmare living the in city centre with all the seagull noise and the mess they make of cars. They are effecting peoples lives. Time for a cull.
Colin Warren 9 months ago
And who is to blame for the being in cities? MAN...All these black bins full of stuff dumped oitside restaurants and take away joints. Half eaten kebabs and crap thrown to the ground Instead of being binned. Its not just an Aberdeen thing, I was in a small town in Cornwall last month it happens there too. Man to blame im afraid with our endless garbage Strewn everywhere...
Colin Warren 9 months ago
Its mans fault that they are in towns and cities. Endless bags of garbage ouside restaurants and take away places, half eaten kebabs strewn Everwhere. Why do you think many places in the South have huge urban Fox colonies?..Simple its easy Pickings for them takeaway food everywhere. Until we get our acts together and keep our Streets clean the problem will only get worse. When you go to places like Norway, Denmark and A few more in Europe you dont see a cigarette End on the pavement, never mind hideous Chewing gum and half eaten kebabs. People in UK Need to have more pride in the Places where they live.
Steve Thomson 9 months ago
Well said Colin

headbeeguy 9 months ago
Thanks for the picture of the gull. I've always wondered what one looked like.
ScuddZero 9 months ago
Nicholas Fletcher 9 months ago

I think if you are being attacked by an animal you can defend yourself, no court in the land should prosecute anyone being attacked by any animal and defending themselves.

Kevin Gallacher 9 months ago
That is true but there has to be justification for the amount of force used. Excessive force leading to the animals death can lead to prosecution. eg killing a seagull, deer, small dog, cat, etc cause it attacked you would be excessive. But if a large dog or a large predator in the wild attacked you, you could kill the animal to defend yourself/others as the animal could potentially kill you.