Sussex Police and the RSPCA are investigating after a herring gull was shot in the stomach by someone using an air weapon.
The injured and struggling adult gull was recovered from the Beauchamp Road area of St Leonards on Tuesday (September 6).
X-rays showed a pellet lodged in its abdomen, leaving the bird unable to stand or fly.
Unfortunately the bird had to be put down.
Rother Police Community Support Officer Daryl Holter, who is also a wildlife and heritage officer for Sussex Police, has urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Herring gulls are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and harming them is an offence.
PCSO Holter said: “Had the injured bird not been found it would almost certainly have faced a debilitating death, possibly through starvation.
“To shoot it in this way was a vile and senseless act.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious or who may be able to identify the person responsible is asked to email email@example.com or phone 101, quoting serial 98 of 07/09.
Alternatively they can contact the RSPCA or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
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