Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this week, I’m sure by now you’ll be aware of the news about a seagull supposedly abducting a small chihuahua named Gizmo from its garden.
Although it only happened in Paignton, it’s now national news, with The Sun offering £5,000 to anyone who can find Gizmo and return him safely to its owners.
Although we have no reason to doubt its owners, just a quick look on Facebook shows that a lot of local people doubt that this could happen. If you look at the size of a seagull compared to a chihuahua, then you can’t blame people for thinking that. Although it’s all speculation.
Instead of just assuming that a seagull can or can’t abduct a chihuahua, we decided to have a look around to see what the experts think.
Before we tried reaching out to people ourselves, we can see that it’s already been done by a website called LiveScience. They approached Viola Ross-Smith, a scientist who earned her degree while researching large gulls.
She claims that this kind of thing is possible, although extremely rare. She followed up by saying…
“Like this time, the reports usually do not come with photographic evidence and are covered quite sensationally in the media, so it’s hard to know exactly what happened.”
So an expert claims that it could happen although it’s very rare.
We also had a look on Twitter to see if we could find any more expert opinions, and we came across tweets from Katie from Bangor in Wales.
“An expert has said it can happen as seagulls can pick up small animals and carry them. But I went further. Generally speaking all birds can carry half their weight (with the exception of some birds of prey that can carry more), and the average herring guall weighs 1-1.5kg.
So by the carry rule, the birds could hold .5-.75kg comfortably. However they’ve been seen carrying clams and fish up to 1kg over very short distances, so assuming the birds can carry 1kg, the average size of a chihuahua is 1.5-3kg
So in conclusion, if Gizmo was a small chihuahua and the gull was buff, it could happen, but probably only over a short distance, especially if the dog was struggling and making itself harder to hold.”
So basically, going by average weights and strenghth, we’d say it’s highly unlikely.
But, have you seen the size of some of them down here?
Our conclusion: Still a mystery!