If it’d been pigeons, he might have gotten away with it. But a 19-year-old Rhode Island man who mowed over three seagulls in a beach parking lot is facing felony charges for “maliciously killing or wounding animals.”
Really, if nobody’d seen him do it, he also might’ve gotten away with it. But as Boston’s WCBV reports, witness saw young Hunter Latham deliberately plow his Audi into a flock of unsuspecting seagulls. Fear ye not the seagull’s bloodthirsty hatred of humankind, sir? And don’t seagulls have a “deal” with humankind to GTFO of the way, like pigeons do?
According to a police report, Latham told an officer he thought it “would be funny to drive through a flock of seagulls, scare them and watch them fly away.” He acknowledged accidentally striking one of them, the report said.
The Westerly Sun, whose coverage includes a photo of the “least graphic” bird death, notes that one of the witnesses was a small child, and that Latham turned himself in once he heard he was being charged. In Rhode Island, breaking an animal cruelty law can mean “imprisonment of up to 11 months, or a fine of $50 to $500, or both;” intentional cruelty could bring up to two years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
The paper further notes:
“Some people think it’s just wildlife, but we should be very concerned for those who consciously kill any animal without remorse — any animal whether wild or domestic,” said Westerly Animal Control Officer Thomas Gulluscio. “It is this lack of regard for all living things, human and animal, which is eroding the moral fiber of our nation’s citizens.
“These actions remain a painful reminder of the work we do and the apparent need for more human education.”
Gulls are classified as migratory species and are protected by federal and state law.
Seagull photo by Andy Wright