The RSPCA is reminding people to be tolerant of gulls after a gull was found shot in a garden in St Leonards.
The bird was found with an injured wing in Burden Place by a resident.
They rang the RSPCA who took the animal to the Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre, where an X-Ray revealed a bullet lodged in the wing.
Sadly, the injuries were so severe that the bird had to be put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
RSPCA inspector Zoe Ballard said: “For many the sound of a gull is as evocative of the seaside as ice cream and deck chairs - but unfortunately there are still far too many people out there who think it is acceptable to shoot and kill wildlife in this senseless way.
“Gulls have a particularly tough time of it and every year we see callous attacks like this, particularly in this coastal area.
“We urge people to be tolerant of the wildlife living around them, and remember they are protected under law.
“All it takes is a bit of care and understanding to minimise any nuisance caused by gulls - such as not feeding the gulls and disposing of litter carefully.
“Blocking off areas where gulls normally nest outside of the breeding season will also help to reduce the problems.”
In April, a gull died from its injuries after being kicked by a teenager in Hastings, and just weeks later another gull died in the town after being shot.
Gulls and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure wild birds and action can only be taken against them under licence.
Herring gulls in particular are a species of conservation concern in the UK and research has shown that overall gull populations are actually in decline.
If you find an injured gull, or have any information of a gull being treated cruelly, please call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
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