A man was seen beating a seagull to death with a child’s spade in front of families on Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives.
A witness told CornwallLive that a family group injured the bird by throwing cans at it until one of them got up and “beat it to death with a kids spade”.
Devon and Cornwall Police were called to the scene but the group had left by the time officers arrived.
The witness told CornwallLive: “We have just witnessed a family throwing Coke cans at a seagull, then as if this wasn’t bad enough, because one was badly injured from the can throwing, one of the men beat it to death with a kids’ spade in front of all of our children and a whole beach full of families.
“We then confronted them to state how disgusted we were with their behaviour, to be verbally abused by them.
“They then left the beach, leaving behind rubbish, towels and sunscreen.
“The police have been called but not much they can do without a name and address.”
“It was absolutely awful. In my whole life I have never witnessed that kind of violence against an animal.”