Image: Seagull with beer can around neck
Don Battle  /  WildRescue
This is one of two seagulls spotted in the Bay Area with a beer can around its neck.
updated 11/3/2010 5:08:32 PM ET 2010-11-03T21:08:32

Why would anyone slap cut beer cans around the necks of seagulls? A wildlife group made aware of the incidents in the San Francisco Bay Area isn't certain but it calls it torture and is fighting back with a $2,000 bounty.

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At least two birds with the collars have been spotted in Half Moon Bay, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz Island, said WildRescue of Monterey, Calif.

The group appealed for the public to be on the watch for more.

"Instead of attempting to capture the birds, which can make them more wary and harder to catch, sightings should be reported immediately to a dedicated paging service 831-429-2323 or emailed to," the group stated.

WildRescue said it had alerted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

"This is a federal crime punishable by severe fines, imprisonment, or both," said Rebecca Dmytryk, WildRescue's spokeswoman.

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A $2,000 reward is also being dangled as an incentive to turn in the perpetrator or perpetrators.

"I feel pretty confident that if word gets around, we’ll be able to find the birds and help them," Dmytryk said. "I’m also hopeful that we’ll track down the perpetrator, maybe even through fingerprints. But, just that people are watching, and there’s a bounty, maybe that’s enough to get them to stop torturing animals."

So who'd do such a thing? "It's probably someone who is bored and needing to show off," said Dmytryk.

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