Two birds have been shot on the North Park Estate in Cardigan, prompting the RSPCA to launch an appeal for information.
Officers from the charity were alerted after a gull and a pigeon were found injured in the same area on Saturday 12 September.
Veterinary examination – at Priory Vets in the Pwllhai area of Cardigan – confirmed both birds had been injured by pellet wounds – likely from an air rifle.
Sadly, the gull had to be put to sleep on welfare grounds as pellets had ruptured the bird’s spine and caused paralysis to his legs.
However, the pigeon was thankfully stable enough to go forward for a period of rehabilitation, ahead of an anticipated return to the wild should vets be happy with the bird’s progress.
It is an offence to injure or kill pigeons and gulls – except under licence – under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and the RSPCA has urged anyone with information about these shootings to get in touch.
RSPCA inspector Jemima Cooper said: “We’re very concerned that these two birds – a pigeon and a gull – were found injured by air rifle pellets in Cardigan on the North Park Estate, near Heol Y Wern, .
“Thankfully, the pigeon has survived – but the gull suffered serious injuries to his spine and legs which would have caused immense suffering. Vets had no choice but to put the poor bird to sleep.
“While we do not know if these birds were shot under licence or not, we are eager to find out the circumstances behind the shooting of these two birds. Our inspectorate appeal line can be reached on 0300 123 8018, and we’d urge anyone with information to contact us.”
RSPCA officers have remained on the frontline throughout the coronavirus pandemic, responding to emergencies. Should you wish to support this work, you can donate online.