Sussex

Bodies of seagulls found on Saltdean beach

The carcasses of more than 30 seagulls have been found on a beach in Sussex.

Many of the birds found at Saltdean over the past few weeks had been shot with possibly an air rifle, while two had been beheaded with a knife.

It follows the shooting of 17 seagulls, the bodies of which were found on the roof of a block of flats in Worthing, as well as on a tree and in a gutter.

Sussex Police said a person was being questioned over the Worthing deaths and two air rifles had been found.

Alex Szabo, founder of the South Coast Animal Ambulance, said the birds found in Saltdean were the largest number of deaths in quite a while.

He said a post-mortem examination on one of the bodies had confirmed it had been shot with a BB gun.

Brighton and Hove City Council said several of the dead gulls had been found by the beach cleaner, but it said it was unable to confirm how they had died.

"We're aware a local resident believes they are being shot and has reported it to police. We would urge anyone who has any information on this to contact the police," a statement said.

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