Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mysterious ‘Golden Phoenix’ Turns Out To Be Just an Ordinary Seagull Covered in Curry


Fact is often stranger than fiction.

While our human fascination with the creatures of myths and legends might inspire our minds to go a bit wild from time to time, our imaginations seldom go places as strange as the story you are about to read.

On July 1, an exotic-looking bird was rescued after some people reportedly saw it on the side of the A41 Motorway in England.

At first glance, the bird appeared to be some sort of rare species due to its bright orange and gold feathers. The rescuers quickly called Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire and informed them of their find.

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“When they called to say they had picked up an orange bird, we had no idea what to expect,” Tiggywinkles said in a Facebook post. “and [we] would never have guessed at this!”

Upon inspection, the hospital discovered something unexpected. The bird was not some sort of rare species at all, but rather a common seagull who had somehow gotten himself coated in turmeric or curry spices.

“It was all over his feathers, preventing him from flying properly,” The wildlife hospital said. “We have no idea how he got into this predicament but thankfully, apart from the vibrant colour and pungent smell, he was healthy.”

The seagull was affectionately named “Vinny” after Vindaloo curry, and given a good scrubbing to remove the spice from his feathers. Tiggywinkles reports that he is back to his normal color and will be able to be released soon.

As hilariously unique a story as it may be, it is not the first time!

In June 2016, CNN reported that a seagull had fallen into a vat of discarded Tikka Masala, which is — you guessed it — a curry dish. In this case, the gull’s feathers also turned a bright orange-gold.

Lucy Kells, a verterinary nurse at the Vale Wildlife Hospital in Wales, told The Guardian about the experience.

“The thing that shocked us the most was the smell,” she said. “He smelled amazing, he really smelled good.”

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In both cases, jokes have shown up in abundance all over social media, and understandably so! There is something endearing about a story that could almost be the plot of a children’s book.

As for Tiggywinkles, they are just thankful that somebody had the heart to help an animal in need.

“As we say, we never know what will come through our doors next!” They said. “Huge thanks to the lovely finders who stopped to rescue him.”

Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, has reached out to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.

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