KIND-HEARTED prison officers saved the life of a young pigeon after it was attacked by a hungry gull trying to eat it.

You might think that dealing with criminals every day would harden the hardest hearts but a team of prison officers showed they had hearts of gold when they rushed to the aid of an injured pigeon and saw off the greedy gull attacking it.


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Prison officers turned guardian angels chased off the marauding gull and took the young pigeon into 'protective custody' after the attack which left the bird with a bloody hole in its back.

Worcester News: KIND: Prison officers saved the pigeon from certain death down the gull's gulletKIND: Prison officers saved the pigeon from certain death down the gull's gullet

Prison custody officers Stephen White, 63, Michelle Whitmore, 56, and George Birch, 26, saw the young pigeon getting pecked and mauled by the scavenger.

It was Mr White who first spotted the attack outside Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday and rushed to the pigeon's aid.

He said: "I saw the seagull attacking the pigeon, trying to swallow it so I chased the gull off."

Worcester News: HUNGRY: The gull watches and waitsHUNGRY: The gull watches and waits

The first attack happened near the court itself and then the gull tried to peck at the gull near another building during a second attack before it was scooped up.

Mrs Whitmore placed the shivering pigeon in a nearby tree next to the court so it had some sanctuary from the gull who perched on a nearby building, waiting for another opportunity to strike.

Carefully stretching out the bird's wings, she checked for any injuries which would prevent the pigeon flying but saw that, mercifully, the animal was okay if a little shaken.

"The bird was a flight risk so we had to take it into protective custody," joked the officer.

Worcester News: SAVED: The pigeon was very frightenedSAVED: The pigeon was very frightened

Mr Birch, who called their actions 'a team effort', went inside the court to get a cardboard box and Mrs Whitmore carefully placed the pigeon inside where it seemed to calm down.

The plan, they agreed, was to take the pigeon somewhere a distance away from the gull and release it.

Marc Dugmore, a team leader for HM Courts and Tribunals Service, said a gull ripped a pigeon's wing outside the court the day before this incident.

This injured animal was taken in by one of the admin staff at the court who is a pigeon fancier.

He said: "In the last month there have probably been eight or nine attacks."