Woman horrified by 'vicious and scary' attack by Liverpool's XL Gullies

Seagulls on Liverpool's waterfront
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

A woman has described witnessing a "vicious" attack by Liverpool's "very scary" seagulls.

The ECHO has reported on the situation with the city's increasingly large, confident and at times aggressive herring gull population. We have had countless accounts of people having their lunches stolen or being swooped by the birds.

Now, it appears the seagulls have been attacking other birds in the city.

MORE: Liverpool is being invaded by burly, brazen seagulls - what does this say about a big city issue?

MORE: 'Top level boss' seagull stealing lunches in area of Liverpool

A woman named Fran contacted the ECHO to explain about a disturbing incident she witnessed in Liverpool city centre last week.

Fran said: "It was around 3pm when family and many others witnessed an horrific incident in Church Street near Primark. In the centre of the pavement were a large group of Herring gulls and pigeons.

"Suddenly a very large Herring gull jumped on a live pigeon attacking and ripping the pigeon which was struggling wildly.

"The gull then rose up to about rooftop height and dropped the pigeon, killing it. At this point we hurried away not wanting to see the gulls eating the now dead pigeon. Gulls are becoming very scary and vicious. As they now have a taste for pigeons, they are going to get even bigger and will never be short of food."

It is thought an increase in littering and dumping of food in the city centre is behind the influx and growth of seagulls in Liverpool. The city is near the coast of course, but more gulls appear to be coming further in land where there is plenty of food available.

The growth in size of the birds has led to some people labelling them 'XL Gullies.'

One seagull in particular, a sizeable bird known to hang around the Exchange Flags area of the city centre, has been labelled a 'top level boss' gull and is known to have stolen a number of lunches from those walking by.

More people in Liverpool have been revealing their own experience with the gargantuan gulls that are running riot in Liverpool.

Business Live Editor Alastair Houghton explained: "I was with a friend in town at the weekend as he had his sausage and egg McMuffin snatched from his hand by a gang of seagulls. Take care out there."

Harry Sumnall said: "I've never been a victim of crime in the 25 years I have lived in Liverpool, but I can attest to the viciousness of seagulls. Yesterday I was attacked twice as I walked under a lamppost where one was roosting. And as for cannibalistic practices on the rooftops…"

X user Lee added: "Saw a fella being attacked on Monday, seagull wouldn't give him a second."

City leaders believe the seagull situation tells a story about some major issues in the city.

Liverpool Green leader Cllr Tom Crone said: "They are skilled, clever scavengers and the amount of litter and food thrown away is bringing them further in-land and getting them very used to being in these places.

"The amount of food left around the city centre is clearly a driver of this behaviour. It would be great if people could be a little more mindful about how they are disposing of their litter."

Don't miss the biggest and breaking stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here