Police say it was a cruel trap: French fries stacked on the pavement, a flock of seagulls enticed by food, and a car lying in wait to mow them down.
When it was over, 35 birds were dead — no match for the black Nissan Maxima that plowed through them at 50 mph. Police in this town near Atlantic City are trying to find whoever was responsible for the crime.
"I've never seen a scene like that as far as animals are concerned," said Pleasantville Police Lt. Jose Ruiz. "There were birds squashed dead."
About five passers-by witnessed the crime Tuesday evening in the Pleasantville Shopping Center parking lot, police said. They said they saw a young person stack the fries on the pavement, then join two others in the car as the seagulls began to swarm.
"It was kind of ugly, man, blood everywhere," Wendell McNeal, a witness, told NBC Channel 10 in Philadelphia.
Witnesses couldn't give police detailed descriptions of the suspects, and no one recalled the car's license plate. Police on Friday were awaiting surveillance camera tapes from nearby businesses, Ruiz said.
Meanwhile, the county chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was offering a $100 reward for the capture of the seagull killers.
"I can't even imagine that people can be that cruel," said Nancy Beall, the county chapter's president.
Ruiz hoped someone would come forward with information that will lead to arrest.
"We're just hoping that someone went out there and bragged about what they did," he said.