Seagull shot by crossbow in 'heartless' Cornwall attack

Seagull Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The injuries were found to be too severe for the bird to make a recovery

A seagull was shot with a crossbow in what was described as a "heartless attack".

The bird was put down after being found with a bolt through its body in St Austell, Cornwall, on Wednesday.

It was spotted "staggering around" a building supplies yard by workers, unable to fly.

RSPCA animal collection officer Peter Ferris said: "It's a sad thought that somebody would shoot an animal for no reason and just leave it to suffer."

More on the seagull story, and other news

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The bird is thought to have been injured for some time

The bird was taken to a vet before it was put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Mr Ferris said: "This poor bird would have suffered a great deal from this heartless attack and may have been injured for some time as he was also quite underweight.

"It is hard to comprehend what somebody is thinking when carrying out this sort of action on a animal."

The RSPCA is urging anyone with information about the incident to get in touch.

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is illegal - except under licence - to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs.

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