An RSPCA appeal for information has been launched amid fears a gull was deliberately shot with an air rifle in Penarth.
The animal welfare charity was contacted after a resident of Summerland Crescent in Llandough heard three large bangs, before watching a gull fall into her back garden.
It is unclear whether the bird was shot in mid-flight, or while perched in the Llandough back garden. The incident took place on Sunday (June 10).
The gull was left with an obviously injured wing. When the RSPCA collected the bird, the gull was found to have a snapped wing, and also had an impact wound to the side.
Sadly, the extent of the gull’s injuries meant the bird had to be put to sleep to avoid further suffering. An air rifle pellet was retrieved from inside the cavity of the gull’s chest, which had travelled straight through the bird’s wing, leading the wing to snap.
RSPCA Cymru is calling on anyone in the local community who may have witnessed the attack, or have any other information, to get in touch to assist their enquiries.
Gemma Black, RSPCA inspector, said: “We received reports after a local resident on Summerland Crescent in Llandough heard three loud bangs, before a gull crashed down into the garden.
“We fear this was a deliberate attack – and the gull’s injuries were so severe that the poor thing had to be put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
“Sadly, in 2017, the RSPCA received 70 calls related to air gun attacks in Wales – an increase of almost 15% on the previous calendar year. Unfortunately, this gull is the latest victim.
“Anyone with any information related to this incident – or who may have witnessed an attack – is urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
Should you wish to help RSPCA Cymru investigate incidents such as this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.