A seagull is seen in this BDN file photo. A man has been accused of kicking and injuring a seagull who was eating a cheeseburger and fries on a New Hampshire beach. Credit: Brian Feulner | BDN

HAMPTON, New Hampshire — A man accused of kicking a seagull at a New Hampshire beach says it was an accident.

Police have been 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 seagulls 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. A woman who took pictures of the incident uploaded them to Facebook, and the post has been shared more than 20,000 times.

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

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