A WILDLIFE rescue expert has told dog owners they have nothing to fear after a huge seagull was seen devouring a pigeon.

Roger Musselle, who runs Roger’s Wildlife rescue in Woodingdean, said the "prehistoric" black backed gull filmed devouring a pigeon in a children's playground is not the "evil menace that some people seem to think".

In the video, taken on Wednesday, May 5, the large bird can be seen walking over to the pigeon before picking it up and swallowing it whole.

It then proceeds to slowly walk away from the scene of the crime and perch itself on top of a tunnel in the children's play area.

The footage sparked fear with Tyrone Campbell, who took the video, claiming he knew an owner of a small dog who was wary of the bird.

However, Mr Musselle said there should be "no danger" to cats or dogs in the city, despite the seagulls' size.

He told The Argus: "Herring gulls are not the evil menace that some people seem to think.

"They are a handsome and noble bird as anyone who watches a year in their life will observe.

"Their attention to rearing their family is second to none and we can learn a lot from them with regards to looking after our children.

"They have no fear and will stand up to humans, cats, dogs, foxes and crows when it comes to safeguarding their young.

"Worldwide they are declining in numbers which is why they are on the red list off endangered species.

"Also nesting on our buildings these days are great black backed gulls which are a third bigger than herring gulls and more likely to be able to swallow young pigeons but still not dogs and cats!

"The bird seen with black wings would have been one of these.

"In nature, life is red in tooth and claw and this applies to most wildlife which means herring gulls will prey on other creatures.

"In Brighton, we have a large population of feral pigeons which also provide food for others, peregrine falcons, foxes, yes, and domestic cats too.

"So it isn’t unusual to see herring gulls attacking, usually very young pigeons, especially at this time of the year when they have young to feed.

"At other times of the year it rarely happens.

"It may not be nice to see but there should be no danger to cats or dogs as far as gulls eating them. I have never heard of a case!

"So let’s not get too anti-gulls when they are only doing what comes naturally."