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November 29, 2005

Who shot the seagulls?

Reward offered; only one bird of five survives in Southern California incident

San Pedro, CA

A reward has been posted in the shooting deaths of seagulls in Southern California. Only one of the five seagulls found shot in the Manhattan Beach area in late October was able to be saved.

The gulls, all shot with some type of pellet gun, were taken to International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in San Pedro, the premier center for the care of seabirds in Southern California. Four of the birds had to be euthanized due to their severe injuries.

Palos Verdes Peninsula News, Editorial, Dec. 1, 2005

The fifth bird, which was shot in the neck, is expected to fully recover and be released. X-rays showed a pellet in its neck, but surgery to remove it would have been too risky. The bird also had a fractured left wing, which had to heal perfectly in order for it to be released back into the wild.

Erin Kellogg, rehabilitation manager at the center, said, “Gulls are all about flying. This bird is very fortunate that we were able to rehabilitate it and save its wing. We are observing his flying skills in our 60 foot long aviary. He is flying, eating well and looking strong. We are very hopeful he can be released next week and that someone will come forward with information that will bring this bird killer to justice.”

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting. The California Department of Fish & Game is investigating this case. Anyone with information is asked to call Lt. Kent Smirl at (714) 638-8488.

Animal cruelly is a felony in California and the killing of migratory birds without a permit is a federal crime punishable by fines, jail, or both.

California gulls (Larus californicus) are medium size gulls. They have a yellow bill with black ring near the tip and red spot on the lower mandible.

More information about International Bird Rescue Research Center can be found on their website at www.ibrrc.org.

IBRRC has been helping birds around the world since 1971. Its mission is to mitigate human impact on aquatic birds and other wildlife. This is achieved through rehabilitation, emergency response, education, research, planning and training.

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