Wildlife experts suspect intentional cruelty behind recent string of seagull injuries in Orange County
Wildlife rescuers at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach say they suspect intentional cruelty to animals in the injuries of 22 seagulls found in Orange County over the past month. The birds were all found with broken wings -- the right wing in all 22 cases -- primarily in Huntington Beach, with a few cases in nearby Laguna Beach.
"These are healthy birds, and the bones look like they’ve just been grabbed and snapped," wildlife center technician Kelly Beavers told The Times' local news blog, L.A. Now.
All 22 of the birds were euthanized because their injuries were deemed too severe to attempt to keep them alive. The spate of seagull injuries is reminiscent of a similar series of incidents in 2008, in which 11 pelicans were injured. Ten of those pelicans did not survive.
A person found guilty of injuring seagulls could face a maximum of six months in jail or a $15,000 fine, according to L.A. Now.
The wildlife rescue center is asking anyone with information on the suspected seagull attacks to call (714) 347-5587.
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-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Seagulls in Huntington Beach in 2003. Credit: Los Angeles Times