A couple’s pet cat had its tongue ripped in half by a vicious seagull that was attempting to snatch it.

Cleo, a Siberian mix, was left with horror injuries after the terrifying attack that happened as she chased birds in the garden.

Her owners, Callum Hedley and Kim Washbourn, from Lincoln, feared they’d lose their beloved pet when her tongue was so mangled it needed to be pieced back together.

After coming home to find Cleo badly injured, Callum, 26, rushed her to the Vets Now pet emergency clinic.

“I saw her sitting on the window sill and I could tell straight away that something was wrong,” he said.

“When I took a closer look, there was blood around her mouth and she was drooling constantly. We think that’s she’s gone for a bird and pierced her tongue.”



It was at the vets that the full extent of her injuries became apparent – Callum was told their beloved pet had virtually ripped her tongue in half.

An emergency vet carried our a painstaking operation which went on until the early hours.

Senior vet Claire Hill explained: “It was clear Cleo’s tongue had started to go necrotic, which basically means the cells had started to die, so surgery was essential.

“After carrying out a thorough examination and discussing the options with Cleo’s owners we made the decision to go ahead with the operation that night.

“It was a very delicate procedure where we had to cut away the damaged section of the tongue and then reconstruct it.”

Thankfully, Cleo made it through the surgery and has made a full recovery.

“We really feared we were going to lose her,” said nurse Kim, 27.

“We thought at first that the vet would recommend she be put to sleep for her own good.



Callum and his beloved Cleo – the couple’s first pet

“Even then, we thought of the long-term implications. At first, she was being fed through a tube and we didn’t know if she’d ever be able to feed or clean herself again.

“It was such a worrying time, but the staff were brilliant. They were so caring and they let us in to just stay with her when she was recovering from the operation.”

The couple went back to the vet a few weeks later with cards and flowers to say thank-you.

“Cleo’s recovery has just been remarkable. Within just over a month she was feeding and grooming herself perfectly as if nothing had happened,” Kim continued.

“We’re certain that if it hadn’t been for the skill and care of the Vets Now clinic, Cleo wouldn’t be here with us now. They saved her life.



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“She’s back out just as she ever was — and we’re just hoping she stays away from birds from now on.”

Last month, miniature Chihuahua Gizmo was snatched from his owner’s garden by a seagull in Devon.

The four-year-old dog’s disappearance sparked a nationwide outcry and was the subject of a social media appeal started by his distraught owner Rebecca Hill.

The incident, along with  other reported seagull attacks on human beings,  sparked a debate over what to do with the birds, which have quadrupled in the first fifteen years of this century.