A man allegedly beat a seagull to death with a spade in front of several children on a beach in Cornwall.
The incident was reported along Porthgwidden Beach on Saturday.
A woman witness speaking to Cornwall Live said a family sitting nearby repeatedly threw cans of Coca Cola at a seagull, injuring the legally protected animal.
It is understood the group left the beach by the time Devon and Cornwall Police officers arrived after being called to the incident.
The witness claimed that the man got up from the group and ‘beat the seagull to death with a kids spade’.
She added that she and a family member confronted the group following the incident, but claimed they were verbally abused by them.
The witness, who took photos of the man she alleges carried out the attack, added that the family left rubbish, towels and sunscreen when they left the beach.
The witness praised a second man, who was not with the family, after he picked up the dead seagull and moved it away from children, who were distressed after witnessing the incident.
The woman fears ‘backlash’ from the group if she shares photos of the man on social media, but hopes that he will be identified.
Devon and Cornwall Police are supposedly investigating the matter.
There are no species of bird officially named ‘seagulls’, although it is the most-used name for the bird found near the sea. In the UK it is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure gulls or their eggs.