'From the pits of hell': The harmless turkey vulture terrorising people in Bruton

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A 'harmless' vulture described as being 'from the pits of hell' has been 'terrorising' some residents of a rural town in Somerset.

Alan Wells is the proud owner of Gilbert, a turkey vulture which was rescued a year ago after Prague Zoo could no longer house him.

But residents near his new home in Bruton have not all welcomed the bird with open arms.

Gilbert is allowed to fly freely as a wild bird by Alan, meaning he can travel and land where he wants to. In fact, Gilbert, who has a transmitter attached to him, has travelled as far as Yeovilton, around 10 miles away.

Alan, who runs Pitcombe Rock Falconry, said Gilbert has even attended neighbour's tea parties.

"People have been in the back garden, in their patio, having afternoon tea, and he's come right up, looking around the table, investigating the crumbs on the floor," he said.

"I can't really predict where he's gonna go. He'll go quite a distance and come home when he's finished," he added.

Alan Wells runs Pitcombe Rock Falconry but also adopted Gilbert, the turkey vulture

But not all of Alan's neighbour's are happy with having an unexpected North American visitor.

"It's probably one of the most terrifying experiences of my life," Raphael Evans said.

"Walk out the front door, turn around and there's this creature, almost like it's come from the pits of hell and I find out it's a bird named called Gilbert, so it's quite an exciting experience really."

Meanwhile Steve Evans said: "He's not pretty, he sits on my bins and frankly, he flutters around and it's pretty scary."

But despite the criticisms, Alan says vultures don't kill, meaning pets are perfectly safe.

People in Bruton are being told not to worry if Gilbert lands in their garden, as vultures don't kill

"I have thousands and thousands of social media posts of people begging me to send him to their garden, which I can't do because he'll go where he wants to go," Alan said.

Instead, his advice is that if Gilbert lands in someone's garden, they should not touch or feed him - and if they want the vulture gone, then they should contact him.