Pet cat Cleo has tongue ripped in HALF by seagull in 'snatch' attempt
A VICIOUS seagull has ripped out half of a cat's tongue in a brazen attempt to eat it.
Cleo was so badly injured that she had to undergo painstaking emergency surgery in Lincoln, as tissue in her tongue had started to die.
Owners Callum Hedley and partner Kim Washbourn said they "get a fair few seagulls where we live."
Callum explained: "I saw her sitting on the window sill and I could tell straight away that something was wrong.
“When I took a closer look, there was blood around her mouth and she was drooling constantly.
"We think that’s she’s gone for a bird and pierced her tongue.”
Fearing the worst, he rushed Cleo for emergency care at Vets Now in North Hykeham.
The vets told Callum that the Siberian-mix cat had ripped her tongue in half, so emergency surgery was needed on Cleo, their pet of two years.
Kim said: "We would imagine it would be something big like a gull or crow as Cleo is an exceptional hunter.
"She has probably tried to hunt something bigger than she is."
Cleo needed microsurgery on her mouth, that went on until the early hours of the morning.
It was clear Cleo’s tongue had started to go necrotic, which basically means the cells had started to die.
The cat’s mangled tongue was carefully pieced back together and, thankfully, she came through the operation safely, much to the relief of her worried owners.
Senior vet Claire Hill said: “It was clear Cleo’s tongue had started to go necrotic, which basically means the cells had started to die, so surgery was essential.
“After carrying out a thorough examination and discussing the options with Cleo’s owners we made the decision to go ahead with the operation that night.
“It was a very delicate procedure where we had to cut away the damaged section of the tongue and then reconstruct it.”
It's the latest such attack inflicted by seagulls on pets in the UK.
A tiny, four-year-old dog named Gizmo was snatched, and possibly swallowed whole, by a seagull in Paignton, Devon.
The Sun offered a £5,000 reward to help efforts to track down the much-loved missing chihuahua – described by owner Rebecca Hill as "my baby".
Peter Rock, the country’s leading expert on urban seagulls, said: “If they can get something down their throats then they will eat it.
"I’ve heard of pigeons and rabbits being eaten whole and they are capable of pulling them apart.
“Given the chance they will eat anything and this poor dog sounds about the size of a rabbit but I do hope she gets him back.”
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