A north-east animal sanctuary has rescued a wounded seagull – and discovered he is a whopping 21 years old.
The New Arc Animal Sanctuary in Ellon took in the seagull last week after he was discovered injured in Inverurie.
After getting him settled at the rescue centre, they discovered that the bird, which they named Rurie, had a ring on with a few details about the animal.
It was then they discovered that Rurie, who had been ringed by Grampian Ringing Group, was more than two decades old.
With most seagulls surviving for just 10 to 15 years out in the wild, Rurie has reached an impressive age.
New Arc co-founder Keith Marley said: “We received a phone call last week that he had been injured.
“When he was brought to us he had a concussion and wasn’t very well.
“We presume he had been hit by a car.
“When we saw that he had a ring we did a bit of digging and learned he had been around since 1997 and was 21 years old.
“That’s a very impressive age for a common gull.
“This particular breed of gull is not expected to live that long – especially when they are out in the wild.
“Other breeds like herring gulls live a lot longer, particularly in captivity.
“So for him to have made it this long living out in the wild is quite remarkable – he’s certainly the oldest seagull I have ever come across.
“We have 100 seagulls at New Arc at the moment and Rurie is by far the oldest.”
Keith suggested that part of the reason behind Rurie’s impressive years is his ability to adapt to situations.
He said: “Gulls are fantastic birds and incredibly adaptable.
“That is why a lot of them have moved from remote lives by the sea into cities, where they have flourished.
“Cities have provided them with easy access to food and if they’re clever enough, then it’s a pretty good life for a gull.
“He will be with us for a little bit longer as he still isn’t quite back to full health, but we’re hoping he won’t be here for too much longer.
“He just needs a bit of rest and recuperation and then we’ll send him back into the wild.
“Who knows – hopefully I’ll see him again in another 20 years.”