Three wild creatures were wounded on New York’s Long Island, one fatally, by one or more depraved individuals who are now the focus of a police manhunt.
The animal that died was a seagullstruck with a large rock on July 13 after it was lured with bread. The bird, which began vomiting blood, was rescued by a horrified guest at the Royal Atlantic Motel in Montauk, who called the police and the SPCA. The gull was rushed to a nearby humane center, where it died a short time later.
More recently, a swan and a 17-year-old turtle were senselessly injured by either the same attacker or other individuals with the same perverse appetite for animal abuse. The swan was shot with an arrow that penetrated its torso. The bird underwent emergency surgery to remove the arrow and is on intravenous antibiotics at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center.
The turtle, of the eastern box variety, had a 3-inch nail hammered into its shell. It, too, underwent surgery at the Hampton Bays rescue center. Miraculously, the nail narrowly missed the turtle’s vital organs, and it is expected to make a full recovery.
Suffolk County SPCA chief Roy Gross said that the assaults on wildlife are “something we won’t tolerate,” adding:
These are demented people, and what’s disturbing is that these acts are premeditated.
A reward of $12,500 is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the turtle assailant. The SPCA is offering $11,000 for tips leading to the conviction of the swan hunter.
As reported in this column, in May Suffolk County—the locality where these abuses occurred—became the nation’s first to launch an Animal Abuser Registry. People convicted of mistreating animals there must register their names, addresses, and photographs for five years and pay an annual fee of $50.
The registry also functions as a prospective “mugbook” for police seeking perpetrators of subsequent cases of animal abuse. Multiple abusers face stiffer penalties, including jail time, if apprehended.
Anyone with information that might help investigators track down the parties responsible for the abuses detailed in this article are urged to contact the Suffolk County SPCA, which can also be reached at 631-382-7722.
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