ANIMAL rescuers are searching an area of Barrow after a man made a disturbing discovery.

In a post on social media, a man claimed that he had seen an adult seagull with a "crossbow arrow right through its neck" on Oxford Street.

It's current whereabouts is unknown, but members of Bardsea Bird Sanctuary's Tweet Fleet - a group of volunteers who take care of sick and injured birds - are on the lookout.

Elisabeth Ashleigh, owner of Bardsea Bird Sanctuary said: "There are some horrible people about.

"Nothing ever gets done - that's the thing. Nobody gets done for it.

"The Tweet Fleet were informed about it and are aware.

"They are going through the vicinity to look for it and find it.

"Obviously it hasn't hit any vital organs or it would not be able to fly around.

"It seems like a horrid kid thing to do, but even adults do this kind of thing as well.

"We had a gull the other day that very strangely fell off a roof, and it sounds like that one has been shot too.

"We are struggling at the minute to house all of these gulls.

"A lot of people seem to want to harm seagulls.

"We are always worried about the young gulls left on the street because people will try and kick them in the head."

It comes as the volunteer rescue team have been "absolutely inundated" with messages about baby gulls.

The team are dealing with large numbers of birds who require intervention - and those who deliberately harm the gulls are "not helping" as they battle against growing numbers of the birds that are in need of their help.

The RSPCA are reminding members of the public that is it illegal to deliberately kill, injure or take gulls - except under licence.

A RSPCA spokesperson said: “This sounds like a very distressing incident. If anyone has any information about animal cruelty they should call our cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

“All wild birds, including gulls, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 so it is illegal to deliberately kill, injure or take gulls except under licence.”

Anyone who spots the injured gull can contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999, or contact the Bardsea Bird Sanctuary on Facebook for advice.

Injured or sick birds can also be taken to the nearest vet, free of charge.