COUNTY NEWS: Pigeon beaten and left for dead in bin bag

A pigeon that was beaten and left for dead in a metal waste bin has been saved by the animal rescue service.

The pigeon was bloodied and bruised after the attack. Picture: WRAS
The pigeon was bloodied and bruised after the attack. Picture: WRAS

On the Thursday evening at just after 6.15pm, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service received a call from residents on the Kings Park Estate in Eastbourne. They reported a creature moving inside a black plastic bag which had been dumped in a large metal waste bin.

The rescue service’s founder Trevor Weeks pulled the bag out of the bin using a pole, and transferred it into a large animal cage.

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When he opened the bag, he discovered a ‘bloodied feral pigeon’ covered with a red and white tea towel stained with blood.

The pigeon's right eye was severely bruised and swollen after the attack. Picture: WRAS

Trevor said: “The pigeon started flapping and was clearly very frightened and scared of the slightest touch. The pigeon’s reaction was one of extreme fear.”

He gave the bird emergency first aid and then drove to the rescue service’s vet Mike Symons who treated the pigeon. The bird’s right eye was severely swollen, and there was a deep puncture wound to the left side of the chest. The left eye was also swollen but intact. Its ruffled feathers indicated that the bird had at some point become entangled in netting.

Trevor said: “The head trauma in our opinion may well be due to being bashed across the head, possibly as a result of someone trying to kill the bird, which was when they wrapped in a tea towel and placed it in a bin bag on purpose and dumped in the waste bin for disposal without checking it was actually dead.”

The incident has been passed on to Sussex Police.

The black bin bag which contained the pigeon. Picture: WRAS

Trevor said that as far as he was concerned this was ‘on a par with racism’.

He said: “Many people will probably only say ‘its just a pigeon’ but they still feel pain and suffer the same way as your favourite pet cat or dog.

“Just because they are a successful species which takes advantage of our human habitats doesn’t mean they should be treated with any less respect and compassion.”

The pigeon is now with the rescue service’s pigeon and dove specialist Kathy Martyn in Uckfield where it is being given one-on-one care.

The pigeon was discovered in the large metal waste bin. Picture: WRAS

Kathy has named the bird Stig from children’s book Stig of the Dump and said it has ‘a long way to go’ before being released.

She said: “He is such a frightened pigeon, but slowly getting used to me feeding him. It it is clear he has been through one hell of a trauma and cruelty inflicted by a cruel human.”

Anyone who witnessed what happened should contact Sussex Police on 101, quoting incident 146 of 28/4/17.

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