Police investigate gull shootings in Aldwick

An X-ray, courtesy of Alphapet, showing the pellet in one of the birds
An X-ray, courtesy of Alphapet, showing the pellet in one of the birds

Police have issued an appeal for information following two incidents of herring gulls being shot with airguns in Aldwick.

Simon Wild, a spokesman for West Sussex Wildlife Protection, which dealt with the incidents on August 1 and 2, said: “On Tuesday night, one of our volunteer rescuers found an injured herring gull in the vicinity of Victoria Road South. “And then on Wednesday we received another call about an injured herring gull in Grangefield Way, Aldwick, about a mile away.

“Both birds were found to have been shot by airgun pellets when X-rayed at Alphapet veterinary clinic, Westmeads, and have had to be given humane euthanasia.”

Mr Wild said the birds, which are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1984, were moved from amber to red warning list by the British Trust for Ornithology due to their decline in 2009.

“These gulls have just spent the summer rearing their young, make excellent parents and the young generally stay with them for about two years, so it is very harmful,” he added.

“Police are investigating, and I would urge anyone with any information regarding unlawful shooting of gulls in Aldwick to contact the police 101 number.”

A spokesman from Alphapets confirmed its vet Emma Cole tended to the birds.

They said: “Unfortunately, one passed away under anaesthetic. It had been shot twice and had a fractured wing.

“The other one had to be put to sleep, as the pellet had split into two parts and caused fractures to both legs.”

Sussex Police is investigating and is keen to hear from anyone who has information about the incidents.

Call 101 quoting serial number 1085 of 02/08 or, alternatively, report online at www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/ or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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