Protected bird of prey shot in Forest of Dean
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Distressing image warning:
A protected bird of prey had to be euthanised after it was shot and officers are appealing for information as to who was responsible.
At around 4pm on 12 January two members of the public heard a shot and saw the kestrel fall to the ground.
The incident happened on the junction of Strawberry Hill, Tewkesbury Road and Ford House Lane, just outside of Newent.
The bird, which is protected by the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981, was taken to Vale Wildlife Rescue Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, however it had to be euthanised due to the extent of its injuries.
Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer PC Cath McDay said: "Someone has broken the law in shooting this protected bird of prey, which sadly could not be saved. This is unacceptable behaviour and I'm asking for anyone with information to contact police."
Jenny Shelton, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Investigations, said: "Kestrels are glorious birds and a familiar sight hovering above our road verges: little still points of absolute concentration in our fast-paced world.
"It's outrageous to think that someone has deliberately shot this bird. Nature is facing many challenges at the moment, and the UK's kestrel population has halved in the last 50 years. So news like this is particularly frustrating and saddening."
Information can be given by calling Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 and referencing incident 196 of 13 January or by submitting it online here: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/
Alternatively you can call the RSPB on 01767 680551 or fill in their online 'report a crime' form anonymously: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-to-report-crimes/
Below images courtesy of Vale Wildlife Rescue Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre.