‘I didn’t save her, she saved me’ - Woman’s joy at raising seagull chick while on furlough

Theresa's life has been transformed since Baby entered her life. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald

Theresa's life has been transformed since Baby entered her life. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald - Credit: Archant

When Baby turned up unannounced in Theresa McDonald’s garden, little did she know how she would change her life.

Baby arrived on Theresa's doorstep a week into lockdown. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald

Baby arrived on Theresa's doorstep a week into lockdown. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald - Credit: Archant

The 51-year-old from Great Yarmouth had been furloughed from her job as a salesperson at the end of March, and was picking up the pieces.

Just a week into her furlough, she arrived - a seagull chick on the lawn.

Ms McDonald described her shock at the time, not knowing what it was.

“It was tiny at the time and had a white face with black and white spots,” she said.

Theresa says her life has changed for the better since Baby entered it. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald

Theresa says her life has changed for the better since Baby entered it. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald - Credit: Archant


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“I called her Dodo when she was tiny because at the time I didn’t realise she was a seagull.

“But as she grew older, she turned into a baby seagull and I decided to name her Baby instead.

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“I was talking to friends and colleagues and they said ‘Theresa, you need to get your story out there.’”

Ms McDonald’s love and car has seen Baby grow up fast, and their relationship has since gone from strength to strength.

Baby has been raised by Theresa since she was a few days old. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald

Baby has been raised by Theresa since she was a few days old. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald - Credit: Archant

But Ms McDonald says she is the lucky one.

She said: “I didn’t save her, she saved me.

“I wasn’t lonely anymore. I’m not lonely anymore. I love that bird more than life itself.”

Ms McDonald had to take practical steps to look after Baby, taking to Google to see what she was meant to feed the little baby seagull, with cat and dog food on the menu.

Baby and Theresa have had their ups and downs. At one time, Baby flew out into the road. PHOTO: Ther

Baby and Theresa have had their ups and downs. At one time, Baby flew out into the road. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald - Credit: Archant

However, Theresa and Baby’s relationship has had its ups and downs.

One incident saw Baby walk out into the road as Ms McDonald left for work, before she sprang to his rescue.

Ms McDonald said: “Baby was just sat in the middle of the road and I ran out screaming ‘stop, stop stop, Baby is in the road.’

“Honestly, all the drivers thought I was some sort of mad woman.”

Baby also enjoys relaxing in the dog bed when she gets the chance. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald

Baby also enjoys relaxing in the dog bed when she gets the chance. PHOTO: Theresa McDonald - Credit: Archant

As Baby has grown older and Ms McDonald has returned to work, Baby now sits on the roof opposite Theresa’s house.

Ms McDonald said: “I put her food out in the mornings now before I go to work, so that she doesn’t get too attached.

“I reflect now that if I had never been put on furlough I would have never met Baby.”

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