The RSPCA is appealing for information after a Herring gull was shot in Rye.
The bird was found in Tram Road last Friday (August 14).
RSPCA inspectors were called after a passer-by discovered the bird in a distressed and injured state and took him straight to a vet.
A pellet was found lodged in his wing.
Sadly, due to the extent of the gull’s injuries, the vet said the kindest thing to do was put him to sleep to prevent further suffering.
The animal rescue charity is appealing for the public’s help in a bid to trace those responsible.
RSPCA inspector Alison Edwards said: “This seems a very deliberate and unacceptable attack on a wild bird and we urge anyone with any information about it to call us on 0300 123 8018.
“Gulls have a particularly tough time of it and are far too often the target of horrible attacks such as this.
“We urge people to be tolerant of the wildlife living around them, and remember that gulls are protected under law.
“It is an offence to injure or kill a wild bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and offenders can face a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.”
There were a spate of attacks on gulls in the Hastings area last weekend.
Bexhill Wildlife Rescue was called to three gull attacks in St Leonards.
The charity said one of the three gulls, believed to be only six months old, appeared to have been gutted. One gull had been stabbed with a screwdriver, one had its stomach slashed and the other one stabbed and kicked around.