WILDLIFE Rescuers are warning people to be on the lookout and report anyone shooting in residential areas as more and more birds start nesting and raising their young.
The warning comes after a spate of shooting incidents and as we approach the “Silly Summer Shooting Season” which starts as gulls start nesting and having young.
Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) dealt with a distressing call just before 7am yesterday morning at an address in The Circus, Eastbourne.
Centre manager and rescuer Chris Riddington, from Eastbourne, said “When I took the call I spoke to a very upset lady who believed a gull had been shot on her roof and was now laying injured in her garden.
“When I saw the bird, the wounds were consistent with being shot, there were clear entry and exit holes and the feathers had been pushed into the wound. Sadly the bone was fractured quite badly and it wasn’t looking good.”
Chris took the injured bird to St Anne’s vets in Eastbourne who agreed that the gull was in a serious condition and the kindest thing was to put the bird to sleep.
It was the fourth gull to be shot in four weeks in that area. Another shot gull was rescued from the same location on Tuesday. An x-ray revealed the wing still had a pellet lodged inside. WRAS’s veterinary team are working hard to save it’s life.
Chris added: “Spending some time with the caller this morning, the person shooting the gull is not only committing a criminal offence shooting the birds and leaving them injured but they are causing anti-social behaviour making this lady scared and fearful to go near her windows, they are reducing her to tears. She has lived at the address four years and has never known anything like this. Not only does she have to lay there at night as birds are shot on her roof she then rushes outside to their aid and looks after then until we arrive. She has to see the wounds, the blood over her patio, the fear in the bird’s eyes. In many cases like this it is not just the wildlife that is suffering but the local residents too. It breaks my heart to see this. A lady who doesn’t feel comfortable in her own home.”
East Sussex WRAS has contacted the police who will be investigating the matter. If you have any information about who may be causing this cruelty contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting ref 152 of 18th May 2017.
East Sussex WRAS is also caring for a Peregrine Falcon with a damaged wing from Ninfield.
Trevor Weeks, the founder of WRAS, said: “It is unclear how the wing was broken and this could be due to a collision but When we x-rayed the rest of the body to check for other injuries we discovered several pieces of shot in the bird.”
He added: We frequently get people calling us saying they have seen someone shooting out of a bedroom window. We would urge anyone who sees anyone doing so to call Sussex Police on 999 if an offence is in the process of being committed or to call 101 if after the event."