The RSPCA say a seagull became the victim of a Tour de France practical joke after callous yobs covered it – in YELLOW PAINT.
Concerned holidaymakers alerted the Scarborough Sea Life Centre, North Yorks., after spotting the bright bird hobbling around the front.
The bird had been sprayed yellow – the colour of the famous winner’s jersey in the Tour de France, which this year passed through Yorkshire.
After trapping the unfortunate bird, passerby Andy Jayes handed it over to the RSPCA.
Inspector Geoff Edmunds, who collected what proved – underneath the paint-job – to be a herring gull, said it may have been the victim of a prank linked to the Tour de France.
“We know there were sheep spray-painted with washable yellow paint to mark the visit of the Tour de France,” said Lia Bull, from the Sea Life Centre.
“It’s likely someone thought it was a clever idea to paint a seagull as well.”
Although it was still able to fly short distances the gull would inevitably have died as a result of the damage to its plumage, but it is now recuperating at a specialist RSPCA wildlife centre in Cheshire.
“We hear he’s eating hungrily and that the paint is coming off gradually,” said Lia.