Warning: This story contains details that may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised.
UPDATE: On July 10, Alberta Justice told Global News that two people had been charged in connection with this incident. The pair, which officials declined to name, has been charged with wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a bird under the Criminal Code, and also with two charges under the Wildlife Act: hunting wildlife during a closed season and possession of wildlife or a controlled animal. Global News confirmed on July 12 that one of the individuals facing these charges is Seth Anthony Wideman.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife are investigating an incident near Spruce Grove, Alta., after a video posted to social media appears to show a man intentionally hurting a black-headed gull.
The video is disturbing, and shows a man slamming the migratory bird to the ground, before picking it up and flinging it into the air.
The bird can be seen flying away but later it circles back and flies into a building. The man on the video and the man taking video can be heard laughing in the background.
The video was posted on Eric Jalbert’s Instagram and Facebook and has since been viewed thousands of times. Jalbert said the video was sent to him on Snapchat from the man. Jalbert said he doesn’t know why the man sent it to him because he doesn’t know who he is.
“This is someone from a province that you might live in, and that someone is doing this to these poor little birds and I got right flustered,” Jalbert said.
“That was an execution, man. You just drilled it into the ground like it was a rag doll, so I do feel bad for the family, but at the same time you have to do what’s right sometimes and if that means getting a little bit of flack from that end of it, oh well, that sucks.”
Jalbert said he wanted to share the video to prevent others from doing something like that, and to also hold those who took the video accountable.
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The man was at work at the time on a farm near Spruce Grove. The owner didn’t do an interview but said they are taking the matter very seriously.
Global News reached out to the man in the video, but he didn’t respond to our messages.
According to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, anyone willfully causes unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a bird can face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.