Man ‘beats seagull to death with a child’s spade in front of distressed families on a beach in Cornwall’
- Man allegedly beat a seagull to death with a kid’s spade in front of children
- It happened on Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, busy with families
- Woman said family were throwing cans of Coke at a seagull, injuring the animal
- Witness claimed man got up and ‘beat the seagull to death with a kids spade’
A man allegedly beat a seagull to death with a spade in front of several children on a beach in Cornwall.
The incident happened on Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives, in front of a beach full of families around 5.30pm on Saturday, a shocked witness said.
The woman said a family sitting nearby repeatedly threw cans of Coca Cola at a seagull, injuring the legally protected animal.
It is understood the group left the beach by the time Devon and Cornwall Police officers arrived after being called to the incident.
The witness claimed that the man got up from the group and ‘beat the seagull to death with a kids spade’.
A man allegedly beat a seagull to death with a spade in front of several ‘distressed’ children on a beach in St Ives, Cornwall. The woman said a family sitting nearby repeatedly threw cans of Coca Cola at a seagull, injuring the legally protected animal, before the man got up and reportedly attacked it
She added that she and a family member confronted the group following the incident, but claimed they were verbally abused by them.
She told CornwallLive: ‘We have just witnessed a family throwing Coke cans at a seagull, then as if this wasn’t bad enough, because one was badly injured from the can throwing, one of the men beat it to death with a kids’ spade in front of all of our children and a whole beach full of families.’
The witness, who took photos of the man she alleges carried out the attack, added that the family left rubbish, towels and sunscreen when they left the beach.
She continued: ‘The police have been called but not much they can do without a name and address.
‘It was absolutely awful. In my whole life I have never witnessed that kind of violence against an animal.’
The witness praised a second man, who was not with the family, after he picked up the dead seagull and moved it away from children, who were distressed after witnessing the incident.
The witness praised a second man, who was not with the family, after he picked up the dead seagull and moved it away from children, who were distressed after witnessing the incident
The woman fears ‘backlash’ from the group if she shares photos of the man on social media, but hopes that he will be identified.
Devon and Cornwall Police has not yet been able to confirm that the matter is being investigated.
There are no species of bird officially named ‘seagulls’, although it is the most-used name for the bird found near the sea. It is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure gulls or their eggs.
The RSPCA said: ‘Like all wild birds, gulls, their chicks and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
‘This means it’s illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure gulls, take or destroy their eggs, or damage or destroy any gull nests while they’re in use or being built – unless you’re acting under licence.
‘Although gulls are a common sight in many areas near the coast, some species of gull, such as herring gulls and kittiwakes, are actually on the UK Red List.
‘They’re considered species of conservation concern in the UK because there’s evidence suggesting that their populations are in decline overall.’