seagull rescue toronto

Hundreds of baby seagulls rescued after jumping from hot roof in Toronto

What's a little bird to do when his feet start burning and he can't yet fly?

Jump, in the case of roughly 200 gull chicks who were recently born on the roof of an industrial building in Scarborough.

The Toronto Wildlife Centre reports that it has managed to save at least 170 baby ring-billed gulls who jumped from a scalding hot roof last week when temperatures climbed into heat alert territory, burning their tiny feet and giving them no option but to take a leap of faith.

Approximately 50 of the babies, all too young to fly, died after jumping from the roof, which has been colonized by approximately 4,000 seagulls. Still, TWC rescue teams managed to save dozens upon dozens more.

"Two-stories is a long way to fall for a little bird, and many injured themselves as they hit the gravel below," wrote the centre on Facebook after the mass rescue.

"There were so many gulls that it took three vehicles to transport them all! Medical staff worked late into the evening to examine each bird and treat those who were injured from the fall or who had burns on their little feet."

As of Thursday, TWC — which rescued over 2,600 wild animals this spring alone — still had 90 young gulls in its care.

Rescue teams initially tried to reunite the healthier babies with their parents after the roof cooled last week. Unfortunately, many of them jumped again when the roof got hotter.

TWC says its rescue team will no longer risk returning the chicks back to their colony until conditions are safe.

Suffice to say that staff and volunteers have been busy taking care of all the fluffy youngsters in recent days.

The centre has been documenting the process of rescuing and rehabilitating these chicks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (as it does with so many other adorable animals in need).

It also put out a call for help on Tuesday following the unexpected admission of so many new and vulnerable patients.

"As a charity run solely on donations, this puts a lot of strain on current resources and we desperately need help," wrote the centre on Facebook

"Many pounds of fresh/frozen wild-caught freshwater smelt, hundreds of chicken eggs, hard plastic kiddie pools and every spare dollar are needed to care for the babies and feed all those hungry mouths."

Those who'd like to help can drop off food and donated items to the Toronto Wildlife Centre at 60 Carl Hall Road in Downsview Park between 9am and 6pm. 

You can also make an online donation to help get these little ring-billed gulls (and many other injured animals) back to health and their natural habitats.

Lead photo by

Toronto Wildlife Centre


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