We can all be overprotective of our food at times, but one pensioner took things too far when he allegedly killed a seagull in Weston-super-Mare after it stole one of his chips from his takeaway container.
Rachael Beer, 40, witnessed the incident, which she says occurred at around 5.30pm on Tuesday.
She claims that after the bird stole a chip from him, the man grabbed the gull by its feet and swung it against a wall. Although it wasn't dead at first, a vet later put the bird down after it was brought in.
Rachael decided to confront him after seeing the horrified reactions of children who were nearby. She also described it as the worst incident she's seen in her many years running the store.
"I saw a seagull squawking and then taking a chip from a man's plate," she said. "Suddenly he then grabbed it by its feet and swung it against the wall.
"I heard one of the mums say 'Why did you do that in front of my child?' and he said "It's vermin, you should teach your children about vermin'.
"I was like, 'Oh my god, that man has just tried to kill a seagull'. I walked up to the gull and took a photo of it and then him.
"I said 'Why did you do that?' and he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away."
Whether you consider seagulls vermin or not - and they can be annoying - they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it illegal to intentionally kill them or any other gull in England.
"The seagull wasn't dead at first," Rachel said. "We could see its eyes twitching. Thankfully a passerby came and took it to the vet.
"Seagulls are a problem but to kill a seagull like that is just wrong."
That's something which the RSPCA agree with. Talking about the incident, a spokesman for the animal charity said: An RSPCA spokesperson said: "This is a shocking incident and a completely unacceptable way to treat an animal, it must have been very upsetting for witnesses to the attack.
"We are grateful to the members of the public who were able to get this gull to a vet so it did not have to suffer further. Anyone with information about this attack is urged to contact the RSPCA."
The police are also getting involved, and have appealed for anybody else who might have been present when the incident occurred.
"A man was reported as having harmed a seagull in Regent Street, Weston-super-Mare, at about 5.50pm on Tuesday 17 July," a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said.
"He was described as being in his 60s, white, about 5ft 8ins tall and with greying hair. He was wearing pink shorts, a blue and pink checked shirt and brown sandals.
"Anyone with information about the incident can contact the RSPCA or get in touch with police."
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Caters