MARCO ISLAND, Florida — An eastern Iowa MAN is facing a felony charge in Florida for allegedly beating a protected bird with a shovel and injuring it severely enough that it had to be euthanized.
The incident happened in November 2021, according to a post on the San Marco Police Department’s Facebook page. Police were called after a group of unruly beach-goers allegedly baited seagulls to come near them while one member of the group swung at them with a shovel. Multiple birds were struck, including one that suffered a broken wing and had to be euthanized.
The group left the beach before authorities arrived, but a photo of the person who swung the shovel was shared by witnesses. Earlier this month that photo helped lead to an arrest.
On May 4th, 30-year old Paul Flaucher of Jesup, Iowa surrendered to police in Florida. Flaucher is charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty, Felony. Seagulls are a protected species in the US under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Florida authorities say they worked with the Iowa Department of Public Safety to issue an arrest warrant for Flaucher. He turned himself in to Florida authorities last week.