A seagull has miraculously survived after being shot straight through its body with an arrow.
The poor injured herring gull somehow managed to simply fly off with the 28-inch arrow still embedded its body and was spotted in Poole, Dorset, on Sunday.
On Monday, the feathered friend was captured and taken to an RSCPA clinic where vets also discovered the poor animal had also been shot with an air gun, with the pellet still inside the bird’s body.
The arrow was successfully removed by vets and now the RSPCA is appealing for help in finding the owner from the arrow’s ‘distinctive green and black fletching’.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Jo Blackburn managed to capture the gull in Canford Cliffs Road after it was spotted by a ‘horrified’ member of the public.
She told BBC News:
A colleague was unable to catch the bird on Sunday as he was still flying, but on Monday, he was unable to lift off the ground.
The X-rays show that the arrow has been shot straight through the bird and has been left deeply embedded into the upper body.
Sadly, the X-ray has shown there is also an air gun pellet in the bird as well, which is thought to have come from an earlier incident as there is no recent entrance wound.
Whoever harmed the poor innocent bird could face up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Last year, the RSPCA investigated more than 130,000 cases of alleged animal cruelty, successfully helping secure 1,678 convictions for animal welfare offences.
Where possible, the charity attempts to offer advice and support to improve animal welfare and choosing to prosecute people is not a decision its officers take lightly. For example, in cases where there has been a deliberate act of violence against an animal – like with the herring gull – the charity has no choice but to take legal action.
If you want to report your concerns for an animal, you can contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line to report cruelty, neglect or an animal in distress on 0300 1234 999.
Alternatively, if you need more information on what to do if you find a baby bird, a dog kept outdoors, tethered horses, stray cats or barking dogs then you can head to the charity’s website to read the appropriate steps to take.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.