Belfast Police were alerted about a seagull with a broken wing near Thompson's Wharf around noon on Friday, Sept. 14, and later discovered the bird had been shot.

Belfast Police Sgt. John Gibbs said when he approached the bird, it moved away. Then, he noticed there was another injured bird. One eventually jumped into the water by the sail mast building but was unable to swim with its injured wing.

The bird struggled, then flipped over, Gibbs said.

With the help of a boater, who supplied a net, and a boat captain who helped capture the birds, Gibbs said, the two injured seagulls were placed in a pet carrier.

However, Gibbs said, the two birds began fighting and another carrier had to be located.

Both birds were then taken to Avian Haven, a treatment facility in Freedom, by volunteer Norman Schultz.

Avian Haven Administrative Director Diane Winn later told Gibbs that one of the birds had definitely been been shot and its broken wing was not repairable. The seagull had to be euthanized.

The second bird survived two days, according to Winn, before it died on Monday, Sept. 17. She said the bird sustained a clavicle fracture but she said she was uncertain if it, too, had been shot.

Gibbs said it looked like an airgun might have been used and that the shooting may have occurred upstream.

"The wing was very badly broken," he said.

Belfast Police are reminding residents that shooting seagulls is illegal, as they are a protected species. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 338-2420; callers may be anonymous.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the second bird died on Monday, Sept. 17.