62 seagulls rescued from tofu waste bin in East Vancouver (PHOTOS)

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Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

There has never ever been anything quite like this in Vancouver when it comes to wild bird rescues.

A total of 62 seagulls trapped inside a vat containing tofu waste at Superior Tofu’s tofu processing plant, located at 1436 East Pender Street, were rescued by trained volunteer crews with the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. on Friday.

The vat is built with a metal grid with gaps that are large enough for the seagulls to fly in and eat the tofu, but too small to allow them to escape when they expand their wings. The grid cover was installed over the vat only last week to prevent people from stealing the tofu waste for use as fertilizer.

The rescue organization was contacted on Friday morning after receiving a tip that birds were trapped in the dumpster-like container in the alleyway. A rescue volunteer was sent to the scene and discovered that the distressed birds were trying to escape while tofu waste was still being poured into the vat.

When the birds tried to fly out, they were putting themselves at risk for further injury.

Gulls stuck in tofu wasteThis afternoon an emergency rescue team made up of Wildlife Rescue staff and trained rescue volunteers freed 62 gulls that were trapped in a vat of tofu byproduct. The vat, at the back of the premises of a tofu process company had been covered by a metal grid. The birds flew into the container to eat the tofu but couldn’t get out again. The distressed birds were flying into the grid trying to escape putting them at risk of further injury. The birds are currently being assessed in the Wildlife Hospital. We would like to thank the BC SPCA for helping with the transport of the birds.

Posted by Wildlife Rescue Association of BC on Friday, March 11, 2016

Given the scale of the rescue operation required, an emergency response team was deployed to the location and negotiated with the management at Superior Tofu to remove the metal grid.

“The Wildlife Rescue team covered the container with sheets and towels to calm the birds and the grid was unlocked by mid-afternoon,” reads a statement by the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

“With the container accessible but secure, an experienced rescue volunteer climbed into the container and removed the birds one-by-one. The gulls were placed in pet carriers and transported to the WRA Wildlife Hospital in a fleet of cars, trucks and vans.”

The B.C. SPCA also assisted with the operation, particularly with the transport of the seagulls to the Wildlife Rescue Association’s rescue centre in Burnaby. Volunteers worked throughout the day and into the night to assess the health of the birds and clean any tofu residue from their feathers and feet.

No birds died in the ordeal and they will be released when they make a full recovery.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

Image: Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

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