Drunken seagulls found confused, teetering on English beaches; surprising reason why

The United Kingdom's largest animal welfare charity has received multiple calls since June 21 about drunken seagulls teetering and vomiting on beaches in southwest England.

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"At first the birds look like they have botulism but then, after vomiting, most seem to recover," Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officer Jo Daniel said in a press release. A few of the seagulls have died.

Experts with the charity believe the birds are getting sick after consuming waste products from a local alcohol producer or brewery, the Somerset County Gazette reported.

Another theory is that they're drinking from discarded cans of beer strewn along nearby beaches.

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Veterinarian David Couper, with the RSPCA, told the Gazette he treated a number of the drunken gulls and has urged vets who notice similar symptoms in other birds to avoid euthanizing them because they may recover from the effects of alcohol.

“The birds appear disoriented and confused and struggle to stand. We took some video of one of the birds who is staggering around and losing his balance just like a person would if they’d had too much to drink,” Couper said.

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Officials with the RSPCA also urged local distilleries and breweries to make sure their waste is secure and stored away from wildlife.

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