Police are appealing for information after a red kite was killed in a shocking act of cruelty.
On Saturday 23 April 2016, a walker found an injured red kite on farmland near Nidd, Harrogate.
The bird was taken to an avian specialist vet, but unfortunately its wing was so severely damaged that it had to be euthanised. X-rays confirmed that it had been shot with a shotgun. The vet believed the bird had been shot while in flight, and had survived, unable to fly, for up to two days, before it was found.
PC Gareth Jones, Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator at North Yorkshire Police, said:
Red kites are majestic birds that mainly feed on carrion and pose no threat to game birds, farmed animals or pets. It has taken many years to re-introduce red kites after their extinction from the UK by persecution.
People in Harrogate have become used to seeing red kites soaring above the town, and will be shocked by this meaningless and cruel act.
I would ask members of the public who were in the areas of Nidd, Brearton and Scotton on Thursday or Friday last week to contact North Yorkshire Police if they have any information that could assist the investigation.
Please dial 101, select option 2 and ask for PC Gareth Jones at Ripon. Please quote North Yorkshire Police reference number NYP-27042016-0256 when passing information.
Last year North Yorkshire Police launched a campaign raising awareness of illegal bird of prey persecution. The force has a number of specialist Wildlife Crime Officers, and a comprehensive wildlife crime website at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/wildlifecrime
Earlier this year, the force supported World Wildlife Day on 3 March, highlighting its ongoing commitment to tackling wildlife crime.