A bright orange bird which observers thought might be exotic turned out to be a seagull covered in curry or turmeric.
The herring gull was rescued by members of the public along the A41 road and brought to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
At first, the bird’s bright orange plumage gave the impression it might be from more tropical climes than Britain, but a quick scrub revealed how it had obtained its bizarre colouring.
Staff at Tiggywinkles have nicknamed the seagull “Vinny” - after a vindaloo curry.
“This is one of the strangest casualty circumstances we have seen in a while,” the hospital said in a Facebook post.
“This bright-orange herring gull was rescued by kind members of the public who spotted him at the side of the A41.
“When they called to say they had picked up an orange bird, we had no idea what to expect – and would never have guessed at this!
“He had somehow gotten himself covered in curry or turmeric! It was all over his feathers, preventing him from flying properly.
“We have no idea how he got into this predicament but thankfully, apart from the vibrant colour and pungent smell, he was healthy.
“Our veterinary team bravely bathed the gull (now named Vinny after a Vindaloo curry) to clean off his feathers. He managed to cover them in curry water, but eventually did let us scrub him clean.
“He is now looking much better and should be able to go for release very soon.”