City seagull found fatally injured by air gun shot.
ANIMAL welfare officers are horrified after a gull was shot and fatally injured with an air gun pellet on a quiet residential street in Sunderland.
The bird was found on Redhill Road on Thursday with most of its wing broken and the metal pellet still embedded in it.
Its injuries were so serious it could not be saved and had to be destroyed.
RSPCA inspectors say the gull is the third bird in two days to be shot with an air rifle in the same neighbourhood.
Animal Collection Officer Rowena Proctor said: "This poor gull must have been in so much distress and pain. His wing was almost completely broken off thanks to the injury from the air rifle.
"It is so upsetting to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. These are deliberate acts of cruelty and we would appeal to people's consciences not to commit these offences.
"Unfortunately, air rifle attacks are not as rare as we would like."
Ms Proctor added: "At the moment, the RSPCA is calling for tighter controls with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun and that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop.
"We would also like to remind people that, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, they can face a fine of up to PS5,000 and/or six months imprisonment if they are caught deliberately using an air gun to injure any wild animal."
Anyone with information about what happened to these birds is urged to contact the RSPCA Inspectorate Appeal Line on 0300 123 8018.