The world is a sick place sometimes.
Police in Maryland were left dismayed by a case of animal cruelty after someone allegedly lured seagulls to a local parking lot with popcorn and proceeded to purposefully run them over with their vehicle.
Laurel police Cpl. Laura Wilson said to FOX 5 DC:
“I was shocked. I heard the call come out through our dispatchers, and you have that moment and you’re like, is this really a call? Am I going to this right now? And I get there, and the sight of it is worse than it came out on the radio.”
Officers responded to the incident at 10:47 a.m. on Saturday at the Laurel Plaza Shopping Center, according to a Twitter post from the department, where they “observed a group of deceased seagulls all in close proximity to each other.”
In the post, police shared images of the scene showing the parking lot littered with feathers and pre-popped popcorn that detectives said had been purchased by an unidentified suspect from a Dollar Tree store in the plaza:
ANIMAL CRUELTY: INFORMATION NEEDED
— Laurel Police (@LaurelPD) January 4, 2020
Police determined the subject “then emptied the bag of popcorn in the parking lot intentionally luring the group of seagulls,” according to the statement, “then proceeded to run the group of seagulls over with their vehicle, killing at least 10 of the birds” before fleeing the scene after the incident, which reportedly went down between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m..
“It was very upsetting, disheartening — it made me angry.”
Fortunately, one lone bird survived the attack; although it suffered a compound fracture and major blood loss. Speaking to CBS Baltimore, Wilson said officers were able to safely take the seagull to a wildlife rehab center, explaining:
“I was able to get a cardboard box, we poked some holes in it and I transferred it [to] Frisky’s Wildlife Rehabilitation.”
Meanwhile, city officials are hoping to arrest the subject before they strike again.
City spokesman, Audrey Barnes, told the New York Post:
“Police officers will tell you: Animal cruelty cases like this often escalate into more serious crimes being committed. So we want to make an arrest and get this person the help that they need.”
Police are getting some aid in this effort: animal rights organization PETA announced a $5,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest and conviction for animal cruelty in the case.
Police have asked anyone with information to call 301-498-0092 or email [email protected]
[Image via Laurel Police Department]