Police are appealing for information after receiving reports of seagull shootings in Scarborough.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said they had received five reports of suspected seagull shootings in the Franklin Street and Livingstone Road area in the last week.
The RSPCA have confirmed at least two birds have had to be put to sleep by vets due to their injuries.
In the UK all gull species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and intentionally harming them is a criminal offence.
Both agencies are appealing for help from the public to try and ascertain the full circumstances of the activity.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: "We're aware of a small number of injured gulls in the Scarborough area during the last month, and are concerned at the possibility the birds may have been intentionally harmed. We urge anyone with information to contact North Yorkshire Police or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
“Some people see pigeons and gulls as vermin and pests and don’t understand why the RSPCA helps them - but the reality is that gulls, like all sentient animals, feel pain and suffering.
"The RSPCA is here for all animals and injuring or killing these birds is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Anyone found guilty of this can face a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine and six months in prison if they’re found guilty.”
Inspector Geoff Edmond, National Wildlife Officer Co-ordinator for the RSPCA added: "It's a real concern. This matter was referred to us by the police so we're working with them in their investigation.
"It is against the law to shoot or injure a gull. We want to work with the police to stop it from happening."
In letters given to the residents of Franklin Street and Livingstone Road, police said they were making "every effort to ascertain who is shooting these birds and would look to progress a prosecution."
Anyone with information about who could be responsible or who witnesses any suspicious behaviour is asked to contact the police on 101 quoting crime reference 12190128806.