Just Desserts? Bird Beaten For Stealing Ice Cream

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A rare gull that apparently tried to eat a husband and wife's ice cream was euthanized after the man beat the bird with a stick.

Dragan Djuric, 50, of Wichita, Kansas, and his wife were eating ice cream New Year's Eve on the boardwalk at Main Beach when a flock of birds attacked them, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jeff Calvert said.

One bird hit Djuric's wife in the head and tried to take the ice cream. Djuric was defecated on.

The couple dropped the frozen food and Djuric began hitting the birds with a stick, Calvert said.

One of the birds - a rare Heermann's gull - sustained a broken wing and was later euthanized.

Djuric was cited and released on suspicion of animal cruelty. Heermann's gulls are on the Audubon Society's watch list for at-risk birds. The creatures are surprisingly aggressive and steal fish from the pouches of pelicans and chase other birds to take their prey, according to the society's Web site.

The estimated population of Heermann's gulls is 525,000.
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Information from: The Orange County Register,
http://www.ocregister.com

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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