Saskatchewan

Dart blowgun used to shoot three seagulls in Regina seized by police

Police say they seized the weapon believed to be used to shoot darts at three seagulls in Regina in July. They also found the residence where they believe the person or persons responsible for the shooting lived but don't have enough evidence to lay charges.

Police also located residence where they believe the person who fired the shots lived.

Regina police say they seized the weapon that was used to shoot three seagulls in July. (CBC News)

Police said they seized the blowgun they believe was used to fire darts at three seagulls in Regina this summer. They said they also located what they believe to be the residence of the person or persons who fired them.

The three seagulls were shot in a busy area of the city in July.

 The first was hit in the chest and killed.

The second was brought by a member of the public to Salthaven West, a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Regina, for treatment. Even though the bird had significant tissue damage to one of its wings, workers were able to save it, said director of rehabilitation Megan Lawrence. She said the seagull was released back into the wild on Friday.

This seagull shot by a dart was treated at Salthaven West and released back into the wild Friday. (Animal Clinic of Regina)

Lawrence said her centre has received photographs and reports that a third bird was also hit by a dart. This bird however, has not been found. Police and local conservation officers were called when the centre found out about the incidents.

Police said they have possible suspects but they do not live in Regina. They said efforts to locate them have so far been unsuccessful.

Police said they do not have enough evidence to lay any charges. If charges were laid, they said they would likely involve cruelty to an animal.

Police said their case on this incident is not closed but they need more information to move forward in their investigation. Anyone with information should contact police.

Lawrence said anyone with a conflict with an animal should call Salthaven West for advice on how to deal with the situation.

Seagulls aren't the only wildlife that has been brought into Salthaven West this summer. Lawrence said they have treated jack rabbits, crows and pigeons shot by various weapons, like darts and pellet guns. She said her centre is currently caring for a bald eagle and a Canadian goose.

In Canada, migratory birds, such as seagulls, are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, meaning it is illegal to shoot them.