Seagull ‘bludgeoned’ to death by pensioner armed with 6ft metal pole

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An elderly man in Scotland killed a seagull by smacking it across the head with a 6ft metal pole, witnesses claim.

A couple say they watched a pensioner throw down food for birds with one hand and grip hold of a long bar with his other.

They allege the man then took a forceful swipe at a hungry seagull with the bar, which left it concussed and traumatised before later dying of its injuries.

The husband and wife say when they asked the OAP why he chose to batter the poor bird, he replied: "My bread is just for the swans.”

They had been enjoying a trip to the Lido, near Winton Circus, North Ayrshire at around 6.30pm on Sunday when they saw the alleged animal cruelty.

Wishing to remain anonymous, they told the Daily Record how they scooped the injured bird up and rushed it to a nearby animal rescue centre.

The woman said: "I felt so helpless and couldn't understand why someone would think that it was ok to bludgeon a seagull that was only trying to feed itself.

"This poor bird, who normally would have taken to flight when any human was near, was now in my arms completely still, traumatised and probably suffering from brain damage too.

"The disgust that I felt for this man was overpowering. This bird has every right to feed as well so how can he justify his actions? All wildlife deserves a life without cruelty.

"It is illegal to harm any wildlife and rightly so. Thank goodness for Hessilhead Wildlife Centre where the gull was taken to but sadly died the next day."

Her husband added: "This was horrific to watch and I am just thankful that no children witnessed it.

"I thought it was strange to carry a pole whilst feeding the swans but it soon became apparent what the pole was intended for."

He went on: "I asked him why he did it and his reply was my bread is just for the swans. It would not surprise me if this man has done this before.

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"If you see a man at Saltcoats Lido feeding swans with a long pole keep an eye on him."

The man is described as being in his mid-60s and was wearing a green wool hat and a red anorak jacket.

Andy Christie, who runs Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue said: "Fortunately we don’t get many cases like this one but hopefully people will realise that to harm a bird intentionally is a crime – particularly on a herring gull which is a species in drastic decline.

"The bird, which was a juvenile, was brought into the centre on Sunday and treated for concussion but it sadly passed away overnight."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Enquiries are ongoing after police received information a man was seen hitting a seagull with a stick in Saltcoats, resulting in its death.

"The incident occurred on Sunday, 2 May 2021 near the outdoor swimming pool."

  • Crime
  • Animals
  • Police

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