JEFFERSON, La. -- The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are investigating the killing of more than 30 seagulls in Elmwood.
The parking lots at the Elmwood Shopping Center are often full of cars, but lately, flocks of seagulls have been roosting in them at night.
“There are hundreds of them,” said Mary Romano, who works at one of the Elmwood stores.
Tuesday morning, Romano says she was greeted by a horrific sight.
“I opened up my car door to see what was going on, and they were crying. I walked up to one and it looked like he was suffering on the ground,” she said about one of the seagulls.
Wednesday, several more dead seagulls remained in the parking lot.
On Tuesday, when the incident first happened, another worker snapped a picture of the parking lot that shows dozens of birds dead or dying on the ground.
“I took some gloves and placed them on my hands so that I could pick up the birds and place them in a box,” Romano said.
Property managers for the shopping center said their maintenance crews picked up more than 30 dead birds from the parking lot Tuesday.
Romano said she gave the eight injured birds to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's deputy and that he took them to the SPCA. The Jefferson SPCA said those eight seagulls were so badly hurt they had to euthanize them.
Word from workers in the shopping center is that it may have been done intentionally.
“There was someone in the parking lot two nights ago around 10 p.m., turning, basically speeding in the parking lot, killing them on purpose,” Romano said.
Investigators haven't been able to confirm that yet.
Many of the dead seagulls were found in the part of the parking near the shuttered Sports Authority store. According to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, federal officials could soon be on the case because all wild birds are protected species.
Investigators were waiting to get surveillance video Wednesday to see if it captured what happened.
Romano said she hopes the person is caught before they harm another feather on another seagull.