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No prosecution in bird-beating case

The Orange County District Attorney’s office has decided not to press charges against a tourist from Kansas who was accused of beating a sea gull after it went after his ice cream Dec. 31 on the boardwalk at Main Beach, spokeswoman Farah Emami said Tuesday.

Dragan Djuric, 50, of Wichita, told police he was walking with his wife, eating ice cream cones when the couple was attacked by a pair of sea gulls who went after the ice cream.

Djuric allegedly picked up a stick and beat one of the birds so severely it had to be euthanized at the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Station. The other bird apparently escaped to the ocean and could not be found, according to police.

Laguna Beach police issued a misdemeanor citation of animal cruelty, and Djuric returned to Kansas.

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The species of gull involved, a Heermann’s gull, is known to be aggressive and to steal food from pelicans’ pouches and other larger birds, according to the Audubon Society.

A photo of the beaten gull showed a severely broken wing bone.

The District Attorney is not prosecuting because “there is a chance that the birds did in fact go after the couple in order to take the ice cream," Sgt. Jason Kravetz said Wednesday.

"” Cindy Frazier

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