This horrifying x-ray reveals how a seagull was killed by thugs who rammed a screwdriver – up its BACKSIDE.
Experts reckon the helpless bird was pinned to the ground before the nine-inch tool was skewered into its back passage.
Horrified staff at McDonald’s in Cheltenham, Glos., contacted the RSPCA after spotting the stricken animal – which was still alive – floundering on the pavement outside.
The paralysed bird was rushed to an animal hospital with the screwdriver still inside it and the x-ray clearly shows the handle protruding from its bottom.
Vets desperate tried to save its life but the bird had suffered extensive internal damage and died two days later.
The RSPCA has launched a manhunt in a bid to find the ”nasty” and ”vicious” culprits.
Welfare officer Ben Jones said: ”It was without doubt an intentional act – there is no way this could have happened by accident.
”I can’t quite get my head around the fact someone could do something so nasty and vicious to a living creature.
”We are examining the CCTV footage and would ask anyone who might have seen something to come forward.”
The paralysed lesser black-backed gull – around a year old – was found outside McDonald’s in Cheltenham, Glos., with the nine-inch tool imbedded in its spine at 5pm on Saturday.
The frantic animal was desperately trying to fly but the screwdriver had severed the spinal column, leaving it paralysed and unable to fly.
It was immediately rushed to the Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, near Tewkesbury, Glos., where staff desperately tried to nurse it back to health.
James Horswell, casualty manager at the centre, said: ”It was very distressing for staff, as it always is when we see animals who have been injured deliberately.
”Sadly some people think of gulls as a pest so do not treat them with the same respect as other animals. We have seen other deliberate injuries before but this is one of the worst.
”Apart from the screwdriver it was a perfectly healthy bird. It was probably one of this year’s young.
”The injuries caused an untold amount of spinal damage, and unfortunately it was unable to recover.”
The lesser black-backed gull – which has a dark grey back and wings, yellow bill and yellow legs – has become increasingly common in towns across Britain in recent years.
Many residents have complained at the amount of noise produced by the birds with many threatening to take matters into their own hands.
Gull expert Peter Rock said: ”Gulls are thriving in urban environments and that has caused increasing frustration from residents who don’t know how to deal with them.
”More people are taking the law into their own hands, although not normally with a screwdriver, which is despicable.
”We need to find a way of dealing with the amount of gulls in towns and cities by putting more effort into researching their movements.”
Gloucestershire police said the culprits could face criminal action if referred to them by the RSPCA.