RSPCA Cymru has launched an appeal for information after a fatal herring gull shooting in the Rhyl area.
The animal welfare charity was contacted after a member of the public saw the gull fall from a rooftop in the Frederick Street area of the town.
Unfortunately, the bird had a badly injured and blood-splattered wing, and an X-ray at a local veterinary practice found three air gun pellets. The incident took place on 10 June.
Sadly, the gull’s injuries were so severe that vets decided the kindest option was to put the bird to sleep to prevent him further suffering.
The RSPCA has now launched an appeal for information to see if anyone knows who may have taken shots at the bird in this residential area of Rhyl.
Gulls, their eggs and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – so it is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure gulls except under licence.
Mike Pugh, RSPCA inspector, said: “This poor gull was in a horrible mess – with a bloody wing; and X-rays found he had been shot with three air gun pellets. Sadly, the bird was so badly injured that there was no choice but to put the bird to sleep.
“We are now appealing for information to the people of Rhyl, after this bird was found in the Frederick Street area.
“Anyone who saw anything on or around 10 June is urged to get in touch, with our inspectorate appeal line available on 0300 123 8018.
“Intentionally shooting at a gull is very likely to constitute an offence, unless done under licence – and we’re reminding the person who undertook this barbaric act that they could be prosecuted.
“As communities rally around one another during these unprecedented times, it’s depressing to think someone has spent their time taking pot shots at an innocent gull.
“Herring gulls are also very misunderstood – and are actually a species of conservation concern in the UK. Evidence indicates that overall herring gull populations are actually in decline.”
More information about gulls and the laws that protect them is available on the RSPCA’s website.
Should you wish to support the work of the RSPCA, you can donate online.