Regular readers will recall that on August 14 I wrote about “silly season” stories published by national newspapers during the holidays.

I predicted that the story about a dognapping by a Devon “seagull” would prompt more of these annual credibility-testers to appear.

Well, you can’t say you were not warned. I predicted in my column that the next one might be under a headline proclaiming: “Seagull ate my Ice Cream.“ So close. Three days later came a story about a man accusing a seagull of nicking his chips ! This came to light when the man rang Nottinghamshire Police to inform them of the theft and to ask what they were going to do about it.

Wild Things: Urgent action needed to save our red squirrels

Yorkshire schoolchildren, meanwhile, are receiving lessons in how to avoid being mugged by gulls. Primary schoolchildren have been shown cardboard cut-outs of the birds and told about the dangers of eating in front of them to “improve relationships between humans and gulls.”

You couldn’t make it up. Apparently this action is in response to figures from Scarborough Council who say gull attacks increased from 36 in 2016 to 47 in 2018. This has led to a “mugging” hotline being set up. I kid you not.

You may also remember my column about a worrying Sydney University report charting dramatic falls in insect numbers and predicting they could die out altogether in 100 years, quickly followed by humans deprived of their food pollinators.

Wild Things: On the trail of one of Britain's rarest butterflies

So called experts employed by Samsung must have missed this news. They produced a report recently suggesting that in 50 years we will be feeding pets on insects and eating insect burgers ourselves. Where are they going to find the insects since we are so busy poisoning them ?

Then there was the “terrified” mother who woke to find a pipistrelle bat had bitten her two-year-old son in his cot. Stop it. Can’t take any more. That’s quite enough of these anti-animal stories which wouldn’t see the light of day any other time.

Anyway Jim Butler has illustrated this column with the type of insect we may all be eating in 50 years time. Thanks, Jim.