RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a collapsed gull was found to have been shot with an air rifle.

The gull was found on Friday (July 6) at St Marks church, Wellington Road on the corner with Ffynnongroew Road, in Rhyl.

Pellets inside the bird were found following an x-ray which had caused severe injuries to the bird’s leg. Sadly, the extent of the gull’s injuries meant the bird had to be put to sleep to avoid further suffering.

RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “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.”

It is an offence to injure or kill a wild bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (except under licence) and offenders can face a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.

If you spot an animal in distress, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.

Should you wish to help the RSPCA, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on donations from the public to exist.