Rare Gulls Swoop in on Ice Cream, Man Attacks

Thursday, Jan 15, 2009  |  Updated 2:11 PM EDT
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Rare Gulls Swoop in on Ice Cream, Man Attacks

Cops called foul on the bird-brained berserker.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- A man went batty after a rare gull attacked he and his wife's ice cream while they were taking a romantic stroll on the beach.

Sadly, the gull had to be euthanized after the man callously beat the bird with a stick.

Dragan Djuric, 50, of Wichita, Kan., and his wife were eating ice cream New Year's Eve on the boardwalk at Main Beach when a flock of birds attacked them, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jeff Calvert said.

One bird hit Djuric's wife in the head and tried to take the ice cream. Birds also defecated on Djuric.

That's when it was "on."

The couple dropped the frozen treats and Djuric began hitting the birds with a stick, Calvert said.

One of the birds –– a rare Heermann's gull –– sustained a broken wing and was later euthanized.

Djuric was cited and released on suspicion of animal cruelty.

Heermann's gulls are on the Audubon Society's watch list for at-risk birds. The creatures are surprisingly aggressive and steal fish from the pouches of pelicans and chase other birds to take their prey, according to the society's Web site.

The estimated population of Heermann's gulls is 525,000.

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