Because of the threat of getting caught in discarded fishing gear or cruel bird deterrent systems, gulls have enough to deal with as it is—the last thing these sensitive birds need is beachgoers who harass them for video content.
Videos showing humans forcibly grabbing gulls, who desperately struggle to escape, have recently been sweeping TikTok—and it’s time to end this callous content.
Some videos show humans luring gulls with food and then grabbing them as they attempt to fly away.
Gulls face numerous hazards due to human activities—we should be helping them, not tormenting them. We can protect these birds by using stickers to prevent window collisions, by not fishing—as gulls, along with many other animals, can become entangled in discarded fishing gear—by cleaning up trash left on the beach, and by not feeding gulls food scraps, which can make them sick and desensitize them to potentially dangerous interactions with humans.
Although gulls may occasionally approach beachgoers for food, they do not otherwise want to interact with or be touched, grabbed, or chased by humans. These activities aren’t just cruel to gulls, who have their own interests and feelings, but also may violate wildlife protection laws.
Don’t Harass Gulls—Help Them
Gulls are resourceful in adapting to new situations and learning new types of behavior. They also mate for life and are devoted parents. Like all our fellow animals, they deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.
Don’t participate in “seagull catching” videos, and be sure to report any videos you see of humans harassing gulls, to send a message that cruelty isn’t content. Show respect to gulls by leaving them in peace, and call your local animal control service if you see one who’s injured or in danger.