A seagull was attacked with a spade in Lyme Regis, according to the RSPCA, which is investigating. 

The charity said the bird was taken to a vet, where it had to be ‘put to sleep’ due to the severity of its injuries.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The seagull had to be put down due to its injuriesThe seagull had to be put down due to its injuries (Image: RSPCA)

The RSPCA is now appealing for information regarding the death of the gull and has released an image of a man they wish to speak to.

The attack happened in the summer on the beach - but the information is only being released now as the image has recently been obtained.

The man, who was wearing sunglasses, a purple t-shirt and shorts, was with a group of people having a barbeque on Wednesday, August 9 at around 7pm.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The RSPCA are appealing for information following an incident which saw a seagull attacked with a spadeThe RSPCA are appealing for information following an incident which saw a seagull attacked with a spade (Image: RSPCA)

RSPCA animal rescue officer Dean Wilkins, who is investigating for the animal welfare charity, said: “It’s never acceptable to attack an animal with a weapon. If anyone saw this shocking incident, we urge them to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. 

“This was during the school summer holidays so we’re appealing to anyone who was in the area at this time and witnessed this, or who recognises the man in the picture who may be able to help us further.”

Sadly the RSPCA does see a peak during the summer months and there has been a spate of attacks on animals over the summer.

As previously reported by the News, pigeons were attacked near the Rock Point Inn in October, whilst around 12 seagulls died in Chickerell in an incident that is said to have involved school children.

In two other incidents, 20 ducks were killed by youths near the river Frome in Dorchester, and seagulls were targeted with catapults in Weymouth

In Dorset there were 146 reports of intentional harm against animals made to the RSPCA in 2022 compared to 129 in 2021 - a rise of 13 per cent.

The intentional harm to an animal can include can including beatings, mutilations such as ear cropping, poisonings and killings

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal - except under licence - to intentionally take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs.

RSPCA’s frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need but they can't do it alone. Find out more about how you can lend a helping hand to wildlife in need on the RSPCA website.