June 9, 2016 4:47 PM EDT

A seagull on the coast of Wales definitely did not plan on turning himself bright orange. But when he fell into a container of chicken tikka masala at a food factory on Monday, the vibrant spices from the ubiquitous Indian dish—a “national dish” of England—quickly turned his feathers a distinctively bright curry hue.

Workers rescued the sea bird from the vat of waste curry, and he was taken to a wildlife hospital where staff used dishwashing liquid to clean up the stained feathers, reports The Guardian.

“I’ve been a veterinary nurse for 25 years and I have never seen this happen before,” said Lucy Kells, a staffer at the hospital. Apparently the bird smelled quite strongly of tikka masala, and needed to be cleaned a few times over before the white-and-grey color was restored to his feathers. He’s “a bit skinny” still, so the hospital is keeping him in a cage and feeding him up before they’ll release him back into the wild.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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