|Photo by Anthony Gliozzo|
The Orange County Register ran the following story in today's paper.
Link to it online at: Young sea gull tied with ribbon
Story by Erika Ritchie
DANA POINT – State Fish and Wildlife officials are asking for the public’s help in sighting a young Western sea gull that may be the victim of animal cruelty, officials said Sunday.
The young bird was first spotted by Anthony Gliozzo, a wildlife researcher who observes and logs birds for Cornell University.
Gliozzo saw the bird Thursday at the mouth of San Juan Creek at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. He was canvassing the area with binoculars when his gaze fell upon the gull tied with green ribbon.
“I noted an immature Western gull in complete misery,” he said. “This appeared to be an act of cruelty involving deliberate human intervention: a young Western Gull with a green ribbon wrapped around its bill multiple times which continued around its neck and bow-tied at its leg joint. This juvenile was unable to open its mouth while it limped along to keep up with its comrades.”
Gliozzo, of Mission Viejo, inched closer to help but the large pack of gulls slowly moved in the opposite direction. After several attempts to help, he retreated to avoid stressing the weakened gull any further.
“Although I was standing and unable to get in the proximity of this gull, it is entirely possible to entice these gulls with food and get them within reachable range,” he said. “Much like anyone feeding wild ducks – they will get within reach and in some cases eat out your hand. This would be one theory as to how this gull was lured and tortured.”
Janice Mackey, a spokesperson with California Fish and Wildlife, said field wardens have been made aware of the situation and will work with local animal agencies to locate the bird.
“If we caught the person doing it, they could be charged with animal cruelty amongst other things,” she said.
Anyone witnessing a similar act should immediately contact local authorities, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or the CalTIP number, 888-334-CALTIP (888-334-2258) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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