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Seagull shot dead in Peacehaven
Police were called after reports that a seagull was shot in the head and killed in Peacehaven.
The herring gull was brooding her newly hatched chicks when she was shot in Ashington Gardens, at about 3am on Saturday.
Neighbours said they heard a shot and later discovered the bird’s body on the roof.
Roger Musselle, of Roger’s Wildlife Rescue, and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called and collected the dead mother bird, two chicks and an unhatched egg from the rooftop.
When Mr Musselle examined the bird he found it had been shot in the side of the head. He reported the shooting to police.
He said: “Herring gulls are totally protected by law with heavy fines for those prosecuted for causing the death of the bird. I would like to see more successful prosecutions for any offence against our valued wildlife.
“Hopefully, with the evidence to hand, they will be able to obtain a successful prosecution. The chicks are now recovering and beginning to eat well.”
Mr Musselle said he deals with 20 to 25 birds being shot each year.
RSPB spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We have long recognised that the herring gull can be a nuisance. However, we are also aware that the numbers of this species have more than halved since 1970. It is an offence to kill herring gulls and anyone convicted of this crime could be fined £5,000 or receive a six-month jail term.
“The sustainable way of reducing the conflict is to find long-term ways of discouraging the birds from nesting in towns. The birds are encouraged to nest because of easy access to food and nesting sites. Removing this access will help reduce the problem and encourage the birds to nest in areas away from towns.”
Sussex Police said it had not received any evidence of a shooting but urged residents to come forward if they had seen or heard anything.