It was discovered on Friday 19 April 2013, at Norton Mills Lake at North Stainley, Ripon, when a member of an Ecological Survey Team found Canada and Greylag geese and a Mute Swan which had been shot.
A number of the geese were already dead. However, there were other birds which had been severely injured and left to die.
Post mortem examinations have shown that the birds were shot through the wings and legs with a large calibre rifle.
Those responsible have not only caused damage to one of the most important wildlife sites in the north of England, but have also put members of the public and the ecology team at risk through their criminal use of firearms.
The incident will have a detrimental effect on protected species at the lake, including nesting birds and other wildlife at this sensitive location.
The RSPB, RSPCA, The National Wildlife Crime Unit and Natural England are providing support in this investigation.
PC Simon Crossley, a Wildlife Crime Officer with North Yorkshire Police, is leading the investigation. He said:
This is an utterly barbaric and sickening attack which has caused quite appalling and prolonged suffering.
It is beyond belief that someone could take any pleasure from causing this amount of suffering.
The use of firearms in the area is absolutely reckless and could have placed other people in danger.
I urge anyone who can identify those responsible to contact the police immediately.
I would like to thank the other agencies who are assisting with this investigation.
Anyone who can assist with this investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask Simon Crossley. Alternatively information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference number 12130064101.