A seagull was bludgeoned to death by a crazed pensioner in Saltcoats.

Its crime? Stealing bread from the swans the elderly man was trying to feed.

The man is said to have been wielding a 6ft metal pole, which he used to bludgeon the bird when it got close. 

The scene was witnessed by a husband and wife who had been enjoying a trip to the Lido, near Winton Circus, at around 6.30pm on Sunday.

They took the injured bird to Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue centre, but it was too late for the bird, which died of its injuries less than 24 hours later. 

The couple spoke to the Daily Record, telling them what they saw.

The woman said: “I felt so helpless and couldn't understand why someone would think that it was ok to bludgeon a seagull that was only trying to feed itself.

“This poor bird, who normally would have taken to flight when any human was near, was now in my arms completely still, traumatised and probably suffering from brain damage too.

“The disgust that I felt for this man was overpowering. This bird has every right to feed as well so how can he justify his actions? All wildlife deserves a life without cruelty.

“It is illegal to harm any wildlife and rightly so. Thank goodness for Hessilhead Wildlife Centre where the gull was taken to but sadly died the next day.”

Her husband added: “This was horrific to watch and I am just thankful that no children witnessed it.

“I thought it was strange to carry a pole whilst feeding the swans but it soon became apparent what the pole was intended for.

“I asked him why he did it and his reply was my bread is just for the swans. It would not surprise me if this man has done this before.

“If you see a man at Saltcoats Lido feeding swans with a long pole keep an eye on him.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Enquiries are ongoing after police received information a man was seen hitting a seagull with a stick in Saltcoats, resulting in its death.

"The incident occurred on Sunday, May 2, 2021 near to the outdoor swimming pool."