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Rising number of seagulls being attacked as two in Hastings shot dead
2:20pm Thursday 25th July 2013 in News
Concern is rising after an increasing number of seagulls have been attacked and killed in the South East.
At least 14 shot gulls have been taken to Mallydams Wildlife Centre in Hastings in the past two weeks. On Monday, a nest of gull chicks were left orphaned after both their parents were shot.
Three gulls were found in St Mary’s Bay in Kent last week with shot wounds – two in their wings and one with a pellet in its chest.
Two were thought to be the parents of two chicks left uncared for in a nearby nest.
The gulls later died but their babies have been taken into care and will be hand-reared by staff.
Nikki Lambert, wildlife assistant and vet nurse at the centre, said: “The little things are doing well but are too young to fend for themselves, so need to be fed up and cared for by us for a while.
“I only wish whoever is responsible for this pointless callous act could be made to understand the repercussions of what they do.
“It was not just that they killed an animal – but destroyed a whole gull family.”
Two days later, two adults were brought in from Priory Road in Hastings with fractured wings and pellets in their abdomens and chest.
Adam Grogan, senior scientist for the RSPCA, said: “Far too many gulls are being killed as a result of these deliberate and utterly pointless acts of cruelty.
“It seems these animals are just being used as target practise.
“Many of the gulls are not killed outright but suffer long lingering deaths from the wounds caused by the airguns they are shot with.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said gulls are one of the top two animals most likely to be victims of air gun attacks, along with cats.
RSPCA figures reveal that almost 800 air rifle attacks were reported in 2012, up from 759 in 2011.
In the first six months of 2013, 438 reports had been received.
If you find an injured animal, or have information of a gull being treated cruelly, call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
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