A TRAUMATISED toddler has been left with a huge bruise after a seagull tried to steal her Gregg's pasty from her mouth.
Freya Yhia-Raine, one, screamed as the bird dived into her pram and attempted to snatch the cheese pasty.
The tearful little girl was pecked and battered by the vicious pest's wings, leaving her with a painful purple mark on her left ear.
Terrified Freya, of South Shields, County Durham, was rushed to her GP after the attack and has been left terrified of birds and too scared to eat outside.
Her mum Cathryn Raine said she had to endure a visit from social services because of the injury.
Cathryn, 23, said: "I was pushing her in her stroller and this seagull tried to take the food out of her mouth while she was eating it.
“Freya has no sense of fear. She wouldn’t let her food go. I tried to grab it off her so I could throw it for the seagull but she was holding onto it for dear life.
“She had it half in her mouth and the seagull was trying to pull it out of her mouth."
Freya thought the attack was funny at first but was "petrified" when the bird started hitting her.
Cathryn added: "At first I think she thought it was funny but then its wings started hitting her and she started to scream.
"She was petrified. People started to come over to see what was going on.
"It was horrible. She wouldn’t stop crying.
"I was just thinking I needed to get the pasty off her and get the bird way before it caused some real damage.
"The whole thing lasted about 15 seconds but it felt like ages.
It was horrible. She wouldn’t stop crying
"Finally I managed to yank the pasty away and the bird followed it. It wasn’t scared of people at all, it just wanted the pasty."
Full-time mum Cathryn, who lives with Freya’s dad Lewis Yhia, 24, said she took Freya to her grandma’s house to try and calm her down.
It was there she noticed the bruise and took the tot straight to the doctor fearing she would need a tetanus jab.
Cathryn said: “I was so worried she’d have to have an injection but thankfully she didn’t.
“Because it was such a bad bruise on her left ear the doctors had to call social services who came to see me the next day.
“They came and said it was the seagull that had caused the injury but couldn’t determine if it was caused by its beak or wing."
RUSHED TO GP
Her mum says Freya has been left traumatised by the attack.
Cathryn continued: “Now she won’t eat any food outside at all and she’s terrified of birds – even pigeons. I don’t think she’ll be going near them anytime soon.
“It could have been a lot worse. I dread to think what could have happened if it had been a baby in the pram.
“She was such a bubbly, confident little girl with no fear before this but it’s really knocked her.”
Cathryn, who was hit herself by the seagull’s wings, said there’s a real problem with seagulls in her area.
She said: “I’ve known a few people who’ve gone to hospital after being pecked by a seagull because it’s drawn blood.
“You can’t do anything about them. I live close to the seafront and it’s a big issue. They’re really bold and will take anything. They’re not bothered.”
Last summer a pensioner couple were trapped in their home because of dive-bombing seagulls.
Terrified Vic and Margaret Smith, from Walmer Kent, couldn't sit in their garden out of fear they'd be attacked by the birds.
Schoolchildren in Gwynedd, Wales, were forced to stay inside on one of the hottest days last summer after a slew of vicious seagull attacks on pupils and staff.
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