Scores of seagulls … flopped, staggered and struggled to fly as they became paralysed, and lay on the sand at Waikawa and Kuku beaches to die on Friday (06 March 2020).
Manukau local Beverley Dowling rushed down to the beach after seeing a post on Facebook and tried to rescue some of the native, black backed gulls.
“It’s literally like they are drugged and can’t move. They are literally dying in front of you.”
Dowling watched a bird go from healthy looking, to paralysed, and then dead in 10 minutes. …A Department of Conservation spokesman said this was a highly unusual situation.
He said the seagulls were brought to its attention by a member of the public and DOC officers went to Waikawa Beach to have a look. …
It asked that anyone who was on the beach to keep their distance from the gulls, and to keep any dogs on leashes.