A sunburst-colored bird was stranded on a British highway when passersby spotted him, which wasn’t difficult.
The Good Samaritans called an animal rescue hospital to report the bird, along with a strange description of his appearance: He was a vivid but uneven orange, like a winged Cheeto.
Was he some exotic bird that escaped from a zoo? An illegal pet from the Amazon that flew the coop?
Neither, it turns out. The bird was an ordinary gull with an uncommon problem that turned him the color of a weathered traffic cone, rendering him flightless.
“He had somehow gotten himself covered in curry or turmeric! It was all over his feathers, preventing him from flying properly,” the animal Buckinghamshire hospital Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital (really) said July 1 on Facebook. “We have no idea how he got into this predicament but thankfully, apart from the vibrant colour and pungent smell, he was healthy.”
The hospital dubbed the bird “Vinny” after Vindaloo curry and got to work scrubbing his feathers clean. Tiggywinkles said in the post that Vinny was nearing release. The hospital did not return a request for comment.
In a post-bath photo, Vinny showed his white feathers, although with a slight hue of orange still lingering.
“As we say, we never know what will come through our doors next!” Tiggywinkles said on Facebook.
And yet Vinny is weirdly not the first gull in England to get himself into this very specific predicament. In 2016, a bird in Buckinghamshire dove into a vat of tikka masala while scavenging for chicken.