The good news is the crime wave seems to have subsided. The bad news is about three dozen otherwise healthy birds had to be euthanized after their right wings were shattered.
It was the gruesome mystery that had all the local wildlife experts in Surf City scratching their heads.
Debbie McGuire, wildlife director at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center where the birds have been brought when discovered, said last week that she has never seen anything quite like it.
"It almost seems ritualistic, even cultish," she said. "In just about every case the right wing has been brutally broken and all but one of the birds has had to be euthanized. We have no idea what's going on. If it's occurring at sea, there could be many more that die before they get to shore. It's bizarre. This is the work of a monster."
Can you even imagine what sort of sadist could derive pleasure from trapping and then snapping a bird's wing? Seagulls, pelicans, a cormorant, a crow — it's one of the most — if not the most — vicious crime sprees against wildlife since 11 pelicans had their wings snapped in 2008.