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WorldTheir pet chihuahua was stolen by a seagull, owners say. Is that even possible?

05:06  23 july  2019
05:06  23 july  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Is that even possible ? Joshua Bote. A family in the United Kingdom is continuing their search for a pet chihuahua after a seagull picked it up and flew away with it. Becca Hill, 24, told the BBC that a gull swooped down in the family's garden Sunday in the seaside town of Paignton, in the province of Devon.

Chihuahua stolen by seagull from garden as owner ’s boyfriend looks on. Richard Hartley-ParkinsonMonday 22 Jul 2019 6:40 am . The fate of a Devon dog is unknown after a seagull swooped down and carried the miniature chihuahua away in its beak, its owner said .

Their pet chihuahua was stolen by a seagull, owners say. Is that even possible?© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

A family in the United Kingdom is continuing their search for a pet chihuahua after a seagull picked it up and flew away with it.

Becca Hill, 24, told the BBC that a gull swooped down in the family's garden Sunday in the seaside town of Paignton, in the province of Devon. The gull grabbed Gizmo, the 4-year-old chihuahua, "by the scruff of his neck," she said.

"My partner tried to grab his legs, but he was not tall enough and ... the seagull flew away," Hill told the BBC. Hill did not respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

Ornithologist Peter Rock of the University of Bristol told the BBC that seagulls are, indeed, capable of picking up small animals such as a chihuahua.

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The culprit, according to his owner , was a seagull . A wee chihuahua was recently snatched from his backyard in Paignton, Devon, a seaside town in the southern part of the United Kingdom. " Gulls don't just randomly attack people or other animals. They will defend their nest and chicks if a person

A chihuahua is missing after a seagull reportedly snatched the miniature dog from a back garden in Owner Becca Hill, 24, from Paignton, Devon, is searching for her four-year-old teacup chihuahua " Even though seagulls are apex predators of the sea , this is actually the first case I've heard of them

The largest gull species, the great black-backed gull, has a wingspan of up to 5 feet 3 inches and lives along coasts.

Similar incidents occurred in the summer of 2015: Over three months, seagulls killed two small dogs — one of which died in the same province Gizmo was stolen.

Other experts aren't so sure.

"This would be rare, and I wouldn’t describe it as a common behavior," Thomas M. Gehring, a professor of wildlife ecology at Central Michigan University, told USA TODAY.

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a seagull swooped down, grabbed a pet Chihuahua "by the scruff of his neck", and flew off with it. Local business owners in St Ives, Cornwall, launched a Snapchat Seagull Bird experts say that reports of gull attacks tend to rise when new chicks are born - usually from the end of May until August.

Seagull tears out Cleo the cat's tongue as it makes terrifying bid to snatch pet from stunned owner 's Cleo the cat was rushed to a Lincolnshire vet in the hope of saving her tongue This comes one month after Gizmo the chihuahua was snatched by a seagull

"The dog would need to be quite small. Most gulls would be too small to do this."

Kevin McGowan, a project manager at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, agrees that it's very unlikely, as gulls don't have talons like other birds of prey such as raptors. He added that since gulls and chihuahuas weigh around the same, it would be near impossible to accomplish such a feat.

"It’s debatable whether raptors with strong feet can carry anything close to their own weight, but no way could a bird carry its own weight in its bill," McGowan told USA TODAY. "Not only would it be hard to lift off with that much weight, but there would be no possible way to get it to a stable position under the weight-bearing portion of the wings.

But there is a biological explanation to this phenomenon, Gehring explained. Gulls have a habit of stealing eggs, and on occasion, chicks from other birds' nests.

In 2011, a flock of seagulls made headlines for stealing a dozen black swans' eggs in the same province of Devon. The eggs are considerably large, measuring an average of more than 4 by 2 inches.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Their pet chihuahua was stolen by a seagull, owners say. Is that even possible?

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