A seagull has died after being attacked with a slingshot at Apex Park in Highbridge, just weeks after two swans were also targeted at the same spot.
The cases have prompted an appeal from local wildlife charity Secret World Wildlife Rescue which says such attacks are illegal and it has urged anyone with information or who sees such incidents to contact the Police.
Secret World says it received a phone call from a concerned member of the public on Tuesday (30th January) who said they had witnessed two young people firing a sling shot at birds flying over Apex Park in Highbridge.
A herring gull was hit and grounded and later had to be put down by vets.
Secret World says it had sent out a response driver who was unable to rescue the gull initially due to it having made its way onto the water. The next day another response driver attended and saw the gull at the edge of the lake. Acting quickly, she was able to rescue it.
The gull exhibited a dropped wing and had a wound to its head from the slingshot. It was taken to Bridge Vets in Worston Road, Highbridge where it was put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
Two weeks ago, Burnham-On-Sea Police and Secret World also attended two swans being attacked with a slingshot as they were making their way through the ice on the lake.
Secret World warns that it is against the law to intentionally kill or injure any wild birds in the UK and the charity urges anyone witnessing such a crime to report it to the police immediately.
Secret World Learning and Engagement Officer George Bethell told Burnham-On-Sea.com “Although gulls may be a familiar sight to those of us that live in seaside towns in the south west, they are actually a declining species; herring gulls are listed on the UK Red List as a species of conservation concern.”
“Sadly, this is not the first report of wildlife crime we have heard about in the local area.”
“There have recently been a number of attacks on pigeons in Taunton being shot off the railway bridge where they are roosting.”
“It is concerning to hear about young people treating wildlife in this way,” adds George.