ANIMAL welfare workers were called to rescue a distressed seagull last week - after it was found covered in blue dye.

The charity was called to a house in Largs by locals concerned for the wellbeing of the bird, which they took in after finding it wandering the streets.

Locals branded the act 'cruel' saying they believed that the bird had been deliberately captured and sprayed with blue paint.

A resident phoned the SSPCA after noticing the bird was unable to fly.

After being collected on Friday, the bird is now at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre, where it is being cared for by an experienced team of handlers.

They charity told the News they are unsure if it was a deliberate act of cruelty - but have not ruled it out.

Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre Manager Colin Seddon said: "We can confirm a gull was brought by us covered in blue dye.

"Apart from the dye, the gull appears in good health.

"We washed the bird as soon as we took it into our care and removed a considerable amount of the substance, but it did not clean off completely. We will continue to safely wash him until the substance is fully removed.

"Once this is done and we are satisfied with his condition, we will release him back into the wild."

Colin added: "We would just be speculating on what actually happened to the gull, but from the way it was covered in the dye, we hope it wasn't a deliberate act, but cannot say for sure.

“If anyone is ever concerned about the welfare of any animal they should contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999."