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Earlier this week, a pet owner told of her heartbreak after a seagull swooped into her garden, snatched her tiny chihuahua Gizmo and flew off. Never to be seen again.
And while the shocking incident left many believing it could have been the work of a Black Backed Gull - a typically larger breed - one bird expert claims the real culprit was another breed entirely.
Tony Whitehead, a spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, says the most likely suspect in the mysterious case is, in fact, the herring gull - and he knows why.
"A recently fledged herring gull could have come into conflict with a dog and the gull's parents would have defended it," he told the Mirror.
"The other possible explanation is that it was just predation. Gulls can certainly take small mammals as well as other birds.
"It is really rare for a dog to be attacked, although this is no comfort to the dog's owner.
"Our advice is be aware. If you know you have gulls nesting on the roof or a neighbour's roof and you have a really small dog, then just keep an eye on it, especially if it is an enclosed space like a garden where a young gull can be backed into a corner."
But while the tragic incident has left dog owners fearing for their pets' safety, Mr Whitehead has advised everyone to stay calm.
He added: "Obviously it's not going to take a Labrador away. I've never actually seen a herring gull carrying a dog before."
This comes just a few days after Becca Hill told of how four-year-old Gizmo was taken by a brazen bird.
At the time, Becca issued an emotional appeal on social media, asking anyone if they had any information about where her beloved pet is.
"Please, please, please, anyone finds a chihuahua he's mine, a seagull took him from my garden," she begged on Facebook.
"Have a really upset 6-year-old missing her dog."
Speaking to Devon Live, the 24-year-old said she and her partner are devastated: "It carried Gizmo a fair way as we couldn't see him anymore. I have no idea if he was dropped or where he is now."
The RSPCA has told the Sun: "Our hearts go out to Gizmo's family and we hope he is found soon and is OK.
"This must be extremely upsetting for the dog's owner.
"Fortunately these types of incidents are very rare and not typical gull behaviour."
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