Officers appeal for information after bird of prey shot
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Police are appealing for witnesses after a Red Kite was shot in the Cotswolds last month.
On Friday 12 March a member of the public discovered the bird of prey by the roadside in the Cotswold village of Salperton.
The bird was still alive, but unable to fly and therefore taken to the Vale Wildlife Hospital.
Following an X-ray, it was discovered the bird had been shot with a shotgun. It is believed it had been shot close to the village, as it would have been unable to fly or glide with its injuries. The bird had to be euthanised due to the severity of its injuries.
PC ~Ash Weller from the Rural Crime Team said: "This is an unacceptable crime and one which will be dealt with robustly if the offender is identified.
"An X-ray of the bird revealed multiple bone fractures caused by the lead shot, therefore suggesting a shotgun was used.
"We are exploring all avenues as this could have been someone travelling through the area rather than someone local to the area.
"We are working closely with shooting and animal protection organisations, who are equally appalled by this act and are assisting us with our enquiries."
Jenny Shelton,Investigations Liaison Officer at the RSPB said: "Red kites are a joy to encounter on a country walk, or even soaring over our homes, identified by their long, red wings and distinctive forked tail.
We can’t take these birds for granted: only 40 years ago they were a rare sight having been driven almost to extinction in the UK the 19th century.
To know that they are still being illegally killed is a blow to anyone who enjoys and values the natural world. All birds of prey are protected by law and if anyone has any information that might help with this police investigation, I urge you to come forward.”
Investigating officers are now appealing for any information regarding the death of this protected bird of prey.
Information can be submitted online via this form, quoting incident 333 of 14 March. https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/
Alternatively, you can call 101 and quote the same incident number.
Images from Vale Wildlife Hospital.