The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after an injured seagull whose legs had been tied together was found dead on Anstruther beach.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity was contacted by a member of the public shocked to find the bird.
The seagull had a broken wing and its legs had been tied together with a thick rubber band.
Senior inspector John Chisholm said: “Sadly, the seagull was already dead when I arrived, most likely due to blood loss from its broken wing.
“I have no doubt that someone put the rubber band around its legs deliberately, as there is no way it could have gotten over the bird’s webbed feet by accident.
“We can’t be sure if the person responsible also inflicted the wing injury, although this is a possibility.
“It could be that the bird had already become grounded because of its broken wing and someone decided to cause it even more distress.
“Either way, tying this seagull’s feet together was very cruel and would certainly have caused it a great deal of suffering.
“We are very keen to trace whoever is responsible for this mindless act and are appealing to the public to help us with our enquiries.”
Despite the depravity of the incident, it is generally considered that the growing number of seagulls in Fife is a problem. But the person’s reason for the attack is not known.
Many residents have spoken of their fear of the birds, which can grow to have a wingspan of up to five feet, with a view developing that they are becoming much more aggressive towards humans, thanks to being used to getting food from us.
Indeed, Kirkcaldy’s problems with the birds became so bad it previously called in a pest control firm, tried to trick the gulls by replacing eggs in nest with porcelain ones, and brought in a hawk to scare them off.
After posting details of the incident on the Mail’s Facebook page, a lively debate among readers took place.
Ryan Morris said: “Seagulls attacked my elderly neighbour and left her with a nasty head wound...I don’t condone this but seagulls are pest problem that the council needs to address.”
Fiona Jamieson went one further, adding: “Seagulls are now a big problem around here...One less seagull in the world won’t break anyone’s heart when there are far more serious matters on our doorstep.”
On the other side, Angela Anderson said: “I think some of you who are saying this kind of behaviour is OK because it ‘only a seagull’ are missing the point. What kind of ‘person’ does this to an animal – a sick and twisted one that’s who! It’s probably not the first animal they have tortured and won’t be the last either. The idiot who did this is a potential threat to both animals and people, and the kind of person society can do without.”
Anyone with information relating to the incident in Anstruther should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.