Horrific moment seagull plucks a live rabbit from its warren

Not a happy bunny! Horrific moment seagull plucks a live rabbit from its warren before swallowing it WHOLE

  • The bird was captured on the remote Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast
  • The Great Black-backed Gull swallows the entire rabbit in several large gulps
  • The team at Skomer Island said rabbits are an important part of a seagull’s diet

This is the horrific moment a seagull plucks a live rabbit from its warren before swallowing it whole. 

The hungry bird was captured on camera on the remote Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast.

The Great Black-backed Gull manages to down the entire rabbit in several large gulps.

The island’s wildlife team believed – if only for a couple of seconds – that it may have bitten off more than it could chew with this Easter bunny.

But after a quick pause the rabbit’s back legs disappear down the gull’s throat too.

The hungry bird was captured on camera on the remote Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast

According to the team at Skomer Island, which is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, rabbits are actually an important part of their diet.

They said: ‘Rabbits are an important part of their diet when none or very few small seabirds or seabird chicks are available.’

For several seconds after the meal, the gull looks slightly wobbly but then recovers and is seemingly satisfied by his extra large meal.

Two wardens Nathan Wilkie and Sylwia Zbijewska, both 29, live on the remote island surrounded by a host of other creatures including puffins, seals and shearwaters.

The pair had visited the mainland for an off-season break before returning to Skomer Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire in West Wales.

But Nathan then developed a cough so the housemates decided to self-isolate in their remote home for two weeks.

The island is home to thousands of puffins that outnumber people by 4,400 to one.

The Great Black-backed Gull manages to down the entire rabbit in several large gulps after catching sight of it 

It also houses the world’s largest colony of Manx shearwater – with more than 300,000 pairs.

Nathan said: ‘I’m sort of showing potential symptoms and it’s difficult to know if it is coronavirus or not.

‘In theory, we come in contact with very few people, but because myself and Sylwia share accommodation, we’re both in quarantine basically.’

The wardens have worked on the island since 2018 for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Their only neighbours are three new island recruits who recently arrived to help out on the nature reserve.

The island sees day-trippers between May and mid-July but is quiet for the rest of the year.

The island’s wildlife team believed – if only for a couple of seconds – that it may have bitten off more than it could chew with this Easter bunny. But after a quick pause the rabbit’s back legs disappear down the gull’s throat too

Sylwia said: ‘You would imagine that us being isolated for most of the year, that what happens on the mainland doesn’t really affect us, but in this situation it does.’

Those living on the island would usually cook and socialise together during winter evenings.

But the quarantined pair have split from the others and are staying on the opposite side of the island – a 15-minute walk away.

Nathan and Sylwia are also used to travelling across the sea to collect their food and go shopping.

They are now relying on friends and local stores to leave supplies on the jetty so they can collect it later.

Nathan said: ‘One thing we definitely miss is ice cream. That’s quite difficult to get out to us without it melting.

‘We probably don’t watch as much Netflix and films as other people are used to.’

The pair now hope to live-stream scenes from the island and its wildlife in the coming months while the coronavirus outbreak continues.

But there is concern over the long-term future of the island after boat trips for hundreds of visitors may have to be cancelled.

Nathan added: ‘The ramifications of the loss of that income would be catastrophic for us all.’

They are now trying to ‘update everyone who would be visiting as often as we can’.  

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