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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Postmen attacked by nesting gulls
Seagulls have taken to attacking postmen attempting to deliver mail in one Somerset street - so female posties have taken over their rounds.

A postman fell off his bike after he was attacked by the gulls as he tried to make his deliveries in Highbridge.

And when a manager went to investigate, he too was knocked to the ground by the birds, believed to be nesting nearby.

But when a woman postie was sent, she escaped unscathed. Female staff are now filling in for their male counterparts.

'Safer' rounds

Meanwhile, the town's postmen are being switched to 'safer' rounds for the next six weeks, until the gulls stop trying to protect their young.

A Post Office spokesman said: "We've got a sense of humour but this is a real problem - we're not talking about a little peck but two kilos of gulls dive-bombing your head.

"Our regular postman was dive-bombed, and the manager got knocked off his feet. He had to make a run for it after falling to the ground.

"Strangely though, when a woman did the same round last week they took no notice at all. They don't seem to see her as a threat," he added.

"Dogs are our number one problem, and pheasants can be fairly territorial, but I don't think I've ever heard of seagulls attacking anyone before."

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