LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A Kansas man accused of beating a gull that tried to eat his wife’s ice cream is appealing a $275 fine stemming from the incident in California.

The Orange County Register reported Friday that Dragan Djuric of Wichita, Kan., contested the fine levied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Police say Djuric beat a Heermann’s gull with a stick and broke its wing in Laguna Beach on New Year’s Eve. The bird was later euthanized.

Djuric says he was acting in self-defense after the bird swooped down, hit his wife’s head and tried to grab her ice cream.

Fish and Wildlife officials say witnesses told authorities the ice cream fell on its own and Djuric struck birds that descended to eat it.

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