HAMPTON, N.H. – A man accused of kicking a gull at a New Hampshire beach says it was an accident.

Police are investigating the report from a bystander at Hampton Beach on Sunday. No charges have been filed.

NH1 reports the man said he had just returned from getting a cheeseburger and fries and was sitting on the sand. He said gulls got to the burger, and he spun around with his leg to shoo one away, but struck the bird. The man says it was a simple mistake.

A witness said it appeared the bird’s leg was injured and that it struggled to fly away.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Adam Cheeney says sea gulls are protected under federal law.

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