NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Injured seagull photographed with arrow embedded in head in Elgin

Injured seagull Image copyright Lesley Morrison
Image caption The seagull was photographed in Elgin

A seagull has been photographed with an arrow embedded in its head in Elgin.

The Scottish SPCA has not yet been able to catch the injured bird, which is still flying around the Moray town.

Lesley Morrison, who took the photograph after spotting the bird in Cooper Park on Tuesday, said the seagull had looked normal until it turned around and she saw the arrow.

The Scottish SPCA said the incident was "very concerning" and warned it was an offence to injure a gull.

It has been suggested that the projectile could be a bolt fired from a crossbow.

Keen nature photographer Mrs Morrison said the bird flew off after she took the picture.

"I have always got the camera just in case," she said.

"It was there for ages walking about, pecking away. Then I saw this solid-looking arrow - it was well-embedded."

'Very concerned'

She added that the bird had otherwise seemed healthy.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Aimee Findlay appealed for information about what had happened to the bird.

She said: "We have received a report of a gull with an arrow through its head in Elgin. The gull is still able to fly so we haven't been able to contain it.

"We are very concerned for its wellbeing and are keen to treat it as soon as possible to prevent infection and further injury and suffering."

She said that in July, the Scottish SPCA had investigated a report of a gull with an arrow through its body in Ross-shire.

"This is very concerning. We want to make it clear that gulls, like all birds, are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to deliberately injure or kill a gull," she said.

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