Veterinarians treat 'exotic' bird, realize it's just a seagull covered in curry

An orange bird saved by passersby and brought to an animal hospital turned out to just be a seagull covered in spices. 

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The Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in the U.K. saw an especially vibrant avian patient on July 1. In a Facebook post, the hospital said members of the public rescued a bright orange bird from the side of the road that couldn't fly. 

"We had no idea what to expect — and would never have guessed this!" the hospital wrote. The bird, as it turned out, was covered "in curry or turmeric," according to the hospital.

Aside from smelling a bit "pungent," the bird was otherwise healthy. Named Vinny, after the Indian dish vindaloo, he's on the road to being released back into the wild after a thorough bath.

This is one of the strangest casualty circumstances we have seen in a while! This bright-orange herring gull was rescued by kind members of the public who spotted him at the side of the A41. When they called to say they had picked up an orange bird, we had no idea what to expect – and would never have guessed at this!

He had somehow gotten himself covered in curry or turmeric! It was all over his feathers, preventing him from flying properly. We have no idea how he got into this predicament but thankfully, apart from the vibrant colour and pungent smell, he was healthy.

Our veterinary team bravely bathed the gull (now named Vinny after a Vindaloo curry) to clean off his feathers. He managed to cover them in curry water, but eventually did let us scrub him clean.

He is now looking much better and should be able to go for release very soon! As we say, we never know what will come through our doors next!

Huge thanks to the lovely finders who stopped to rescue him.

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Aside from looking mildly traumatized after the bath, Vinny looks great.

It isn't the first time wildlife specialists have had to treat a curry-soaked bird. In 2016, a seagull named Gullfrazie fell into a vat of chicken tikka masala while trying to scavenge for food at a factory in the U.K. According to The Guardian, a team of veterinary staff were able to wash him off and return him to his original colors, but the curry smell lingered. 

"The thing that shocked us the most was the smell," veterinary nurse Lucy Kells said at the time. "He smelled amazing, he smelled really good."

Hopefully Vinny doesn't suffer a similar turmeric-laced fate. Tiggywinkles posted that he'll be recovered enough for release "very soon."

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