Seagull 'harmony' plea after young bird killed by cyclist

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Image caption Seagulls swooping on people could be trying to protect their young, the RSPCA says

The RSPCA has issued advice on "living in harmony" with seagulls, after a young cyclist was seen "deliberately" riding over one.

The bird was destroyed after it was paralysed by the bike in Great Yarmouth, on 29 July, the RSPCA said.

Inspector Laura Sayer said it was "a horrific act of cruelty".

The charity's advice includes being sympathetic to young gulls who try to steal chips and placing litter in "gull-proof" bins.

Ms Sayer said two witnesses had heard the "cracking of bones" as a young male cycled over the bird, on Crown Street.

She said: "It was a horrific act of cruelty.

"When I got there the bird was still alive, just, but collapsed and unable to move. The vet said the bird had been paralysed after his spine had been dislocated by the bike."

Ms Sayer said the type of attack was "not as unusual as you would hope" and asked people to be more considerate.

"With the school holidays in full swing it is likely this problem will only get worse," she said.

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RSPCA advice on living in harmony with gulls

  • In seaside towns, try to keep food to yourself but don't blame them if they can't tell the difference between scraps willingly offered and your bag of chips
  • Dispose of edible litter carefully - put it in gull-proof litter bins. Plastic bags left in the street are an open invitation for gulls to investigate
  • If you see a gull chick, leave it alone. Its parents can look after it better than you
  • Devices are available to prevent gulls nesting on your roof

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