9-year-old 'Seagull Boy' takes top spot in European screeching contest

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April 23 (UPI) -- The 9-year-old winner of a European seagull imitating contest has an origin story worthy of a Marvel hero after being bitten by a seagull.

Derbyshire, England, boy Cooper Wallace, aka Seagull Boy, wore full seagull regalia when he showed off his skills at the European Championship Gull Screeching event in De Panne, Belgium.


Wallace took up the art of gull screeching after being nipped by a seagull during a trip to the beach.

"I just wanted to make the noise to remember I got pecked by one. But I like seagulls," he told The Times of London.

The boy said he has a deep respect for seagulls, and his imitation is more tribute than mockery.

"I feel like they are a really nice animal, I like them because of their noise," he told the BBC. "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."

Wallace's mother, Lauren, said her family learned of the competition in Belgium after a stranger overheard Cooper practicing his calls in public and suggested he enter.


The judges analyze each contestant by criteria including the calls themselves, the competitor's seagull garb and their ability to emulate sea bird behavior, which Wallace showed off by pecking at his sister's French fries.

He scored a total 92 points out of 100, handily winning the juvenile category and earning the most points of any competitor in any age range at the event.

"My school friends thought it was annoying at first. But not now. I did it," Wallace said.

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