Do you recognize the man is this police photo? Ocean City police are conducting an animal cruelty investigation after a seagull was found beaten to death on the beach Monday.

The man in question told police he hit the seagull with an umbrella because the bird was being aggressive toward children, but a witness told police that the man had attacked the bird, which had done nothing more than accept food from beach-goers.

Witnesses told PhillyVoice that the man threw the pole at the seagull, striking it in the neck on the 12th Street beach.

Lifeguards had already removed the seagull from the beach by the time police arrived Monday afternoon.

Police questioned the man but left without taking action, then returned later when they were informed the man beat the bird. By that time, the man had packed up and left.

It is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey to use a live animal as a target or to abandon a disabled animal to die in a public place.

Police are asking that anyone who can identify the man pictured to call police at 609-399-9111.

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