Maryland driver lured seagulls to parking lot with popcorn and ran them over killing at least 10, say police
LAUREL, MARYLAND: Police are pursuing an alleged case of animal cruelty after an unknown suspect lured seagulls to a parking lot with popcorn and then ran them over.
According to Laura Wilson of Laurel police told Fox 5, "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."
As per a police post shared on Twitter, officers had responded to a call on the morning of January 4 and headed to the location around 10.47 am. After arriving at the Laurel Plaza Shopping Center, they "observed a group of deceased seagulls all in close proximity to each other".
Pictures released by the authorities showed a gruesome scene that had feathers scattered everywhere on the ground next to pre-popped popcorn. The investigation found that the popcorn had been purchased by an unidentified person from a Dollar Tree store in the plaza. The police revealed, "the subject then emptied the bag of popcorn in the parking lot intentionally luring the group of seagulls."
"The subject then proceeded to run the group of seagulls over with their vehicle, killing at least 10 of the birds," the cops added. The authorities shared that the suspect fled the scene post the incident which reportedly took place between 9 am and 10:30 am. Only one bird had managed to survive. It had compound fractures and had lost a lot of blood.
Wilson spoke to CBS and revealed, "I was able to get a cardboard box, we poked some holes in it and I transferred it (the bird) to Frisky’s Wildlife Rehabilitation."
City spokesman Audrey Barnes shared, "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," the NY Post reports.
Animal rights organization PETA also announced a $5,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 301-498-0092 or email LPDtips@laurel.md.us.