The bird was uninjured but “a bit embarrassed,” veterinary nurse Lucy Kells told Wales Online. She speculated that it had gotten into trouble while in search of chicken.
The staff had never before dealt with a curry-stained animal, Wells said, but she added that workers were able to restore its natural color because it had not been marinating for long. But the process made their stomachs growl.
“The thing that shocked us the most was the smell,” Kells told The Guardian. “He smelled amazing, he really smelled good.”
The gull was quickly dubbed “Gullfrazie” on social media in Britain, where ubiquitous Indian restaurants commonly serve jalfrezie, another kind of curry. The Guardian referred to the bird as a “spice gull.” Others called it “wingdaloo,” a reference to vindaloo, yet another curry dish.
The seagull’s choice of dish was particularly amusing in the U.K., where Indian “curry houses” are so popular that chicken tikka masala is often referred to as the national dish. In 2001, then-Foreign Secretary Robin Cook gave a public address on multiculturalism that has since become known as his chicken tikka masala speech. In it, he extolled the food as a “true British national dish” and noted that Brits who were fond of gravy had first added the masala sauce to Indians’ chicken tikka.