Goldfish snatched from market fountain by bold seagull

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Only one fish is still brave enough to emerge from the inner pipework of the fountain after the brazen bird devoured six of the creatures within a week.

Dave Rybarczuk, who has been working as a caretaker in the market for around 25 years, said that the seagull entered the market but had become unable to get out.

He said: ‘We did have a seagull that was helping himself to the fish but he has since left.

‘It might look like there is only one fish currently in the fountain but there are around ten just hiding in pipes within the fountain’s pond.

‘Occasionally they will pop out and have a bite to eat. I think they were just so traumatised at seeing all their mates being munched.

‘We now have a visiting seagull who strolls in everyday through one of the gates but he seems more interested in people’s lunch than the fish.’

Mr Rybarczuk said that he would not be considering putting up netting to stop birds of prey from taking the fish.

He said: ‘We get lots of youngsters who love to look at the fish and dangle their fingers in the water. I know many adults who did the same when they were children, it is a tradition.’

Mr Rybarczuk is now calling for Islanders to donate goldfish to the pond.

‘The last time I made an appeal, we had 600 offered to us. Around 25 – 30 fish is a good number.’

Michele De Ste George from Molloy’s Market Fruit and Veg described the seagull as very cheeky and claimed that he hid around the building when he was not on the prowl.

She said: ‘I last saw him in here on Saturday making an awful lot of mess. The other week I saw him steal a piece of chicken straight out of someone’s hand, he is very greedy.

‘Years ago, a cat was doing the same thing. I once walked over to the fountain to find half a fish lying on the ground.

‘We also had a crow who used to sit on top of the fountain but never seemed to go for the fish,’ she said.

Anyone wishing to donate goldfish to the market should call Mr Rybarczuk on 07797772121.

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