British ‘Seagull boy’ screeches to European championship victory

He vowed to become ‘Seagull Boy’ after being bitten by the bird

Emma Guinness
Tuesday 23 April 2024 11:53 BST
'Seagull boy' wins screeching championship with uncanny impression

A young Brit has won a European championship by showcasing his uncanny seagull impression.

Cooper, nine, proved that he could screech better than even some seagulls when he demonstrated his unusual talent at the EC Gull Screeching competition in De Panne, Belgium.

He was so good at pretending to be a seagull that he scored the highest number of points in the competition – 92 out of 100.

Cooper, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, discovered his talent after being bitten by a seagull who had taken a fancy to the tuna sandwich he was eating.

A big Spiderman fan, Cooper concluded this would enable him to become “Seagull Boy” in the way that Peter Parker became a spindly superhero after a spider bite.

However, his mum admitted that his squawk has taken some getting used to, but the family were ultimately happy to support Cooper because of his undeniable talent.

“People would start to turn around and look for the seagull,” she said.

Cooper was supported at the competition by his family
Cooper was supported at the competition by his family (BBC)

Cooper, whose surname is not known, was praised by the judges for his unusual ability to mimic different types of seagull calls.

Jan Seys, a marine biologist and one of the judges, said: “He managed to include several call types in his performance and each of them resembled a real seagull call in a most impressive way.

“In fact, for me, he was not only the best of the young participants, but of all those who took part in the championship.”

Despite his previous run-in with a seagull, Cooper has said he thinks the animal is “really nice” but admits he’s still “a bit wary of eating at the beach”.

“I feel like they are a really nice animal, I like them because of their noise,” Cooper said.

“Sometimes they can be a bit scary and I’m still a bit wary of eating at the beach, so that’s why I eat in a small tent.

“The last meal I had at the beach was an ice cream.”

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