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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One has to wonder sometimes .. but probably not too long .. This story really, really angered me.



LAGUNA BEACH -- A Kansas man is being slapped with a $275 fine by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for killing a rare gull in Laguna Beach that he said tried to steal his wife's ice cream.

Dragan Djuric, 50, of Wichita, Kan. violated the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act when he beat a Heermann's gull with a stick New Year's Eve, said Ed Newcomer with the Fish and Wildlife service. Heermann's gulls are listed under the act, he said.

Laguna Beach police reported that Djuric and his wife were eating ice cream on Main Beach when one bird hit his wife's head and tried to grab the ice cream. Djuric, who had been defecated on, began waving a stick and hitting the birds, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jeff Calvert said.

However, a Fish and Wildlife Service review of the witness statements showed that the ice cream fell on its own and when the birds came to eat it, Djuric hit the birds with a stick, Newcomer said. The birds were not attacking and Djuric's actions were not in self-defense, he said.

Djuric was not immediately available for comment.

The Heermann's gull, which had a broken wing, was taken to the Wetland and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, where it was euthanized. A second bird believed to be attacked made its way back to the ocean, Calvert said.

The city's attorney's office declined to press animal cruelty charges against Djuric.

The citation was sent to Djuric's home in Kansas last week and he has 30 days to respond. If Djuric does not pay the fine, he must appear in an Orange County court to contest the citation.

The maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $15,000 fine, but because Djuric is a first-time offender, that penalty is unlikely, Newcomer said.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said they will not issue citations for accidents or if a person is acting in self defense.

"We have to be realistic about these things," he said.

Heermann's gulls, an unusually aggressive species of Pacific Coast gull, are on the Audubon Society's watch list for endangered or threatened birds, according to the society's Web site.

"Heermann's gull is a unique bird of the Pacific Coast,'' the site says. "Almost the entire global population of this species breeds on one island group off the coast of western Mexico; following breeding season, these gulls disperse northward along the coast as far as southern British Columbia.

"Surprisingly aggressive for birds their size, Heermann's gulls steal fish from the pouches of brown pelicans and actively chase other birds to dislodge prey items."

Premium Member
25,396 Posts

We had a case in central Fl, where a man actually drowned his dog in a lake, with people nearby...who were absolutely shocked and tried to stop it but were too late. There were plenty of witnesses and they called the police. The guy also got slapped with a fine and wasn't sent to jail either, he was supposedly a first-time offender. :mad:
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