A man has come under fire after a video of grabbing a seagull trying to eat his chips went viral.
After a night on the town, Taylor from New Zealand decided to get something to eat to cure the inevitable hangover.
As he sat down to enjoy the tasty looking McDonald’s, he was surrounded by seagulls and somehow, because of his quick reflexes, he saw him grab one of the birds before he got to his meal.
He captured the moment and posted it on TikTok, where it is known as @ TaylorstictacI thought it was pretty fun at the time, and it quickly got over 22.4 million views.
But the bird he grabbed is actually protected. It is estimated that only around 500,000 species live in the country.
The video quickly caught the attention of the New Zealand Department of Conservation – and it’s not happy.
Annie Wallace, operations manager for the Otago Department of Conservation, told the Otago Daily News how disappointed she was that the video went viral.
She said, “Tarapunga are protected under the Wildlife Act, which means it is illegal to disturb, harass or kill them. Anyone who does so can face fines or imprisonment.”
Ms. Wallace warned people about the behavior, adding, “It is stressful for the animal when someone catches and holds our native birds like this.”
She also said you shouldn’t feed her – especially fast food.
“Our birds have not evolved after eating human food. They are not used to it and it can make them sick.”
Taylor later posted an apology video stating that he didn’t want to catch the seagull, especially since he’s actually quite scared of them.
“They all started bombarding me to get my chips. One came up to my head so I ducked and raised my hand. I just grabbed it,” he said.
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