Witnesses are being urged to come forward after a man beat a seagull against a wall for stealing one of his chips.
The unidentified man is accused of grasping the bird by its feet and swinging it against a wall in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset on Tuesday.
The bird was not killed outright, but was later put down by a vet due to its injuries.
Racheal Beer, a mother-of-three who witnessed the incident, said: “I saw a seagull squawking and then taking a chip from a man’s plate.
“Suddenly he then grabbed it by its feet and swung it against the wall.”
When she confronted the man, who has been described as being in his sixties, he reportedly “just shrugged his shoulders and walked away”.
The RSPCA is appealing for witnesses to the attack to come forward.
An spokesperson for the charity said: “This is a shocking incident and a completely unacceptable way to treat an animal, it must have been very upsetting for witnesses to the attack.
“We are grateful to the members of the public who were able to get this gull to a vet so it did not have to suffer further.
“Anyone with information about this attack is urged to contact the RSPCA.”
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to kill or harm a seagull and anyone with information about the incident has been urged to contact the RSPCA or Avon and Somerset Police.