HAMPTON, N.H. (CBS/AP) — A man accused of kicking a seagull that tried to eat his cheeseburger at a New Hampshire beach has been fined $124.

Police investigated the report from a bystander at Hampton Beach earlier this summer.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the man, 33-year-old Nate Rancloes, 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. He said it was a simple mistake.

seagull hampton beach Man Fined $124 For Kicking Hampton Beach Seagull That Ate Cheeseburger

The injured seagull at Hampton Beach. (Photo credit: April Novak)

“I don’t think there was any culpable mental state in what he did,” Fish and Game Lt. Michael Eastman told the newspaper.

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

Eastman said seagulls are protected under federal law.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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