The dead kite was found close to the scene of another wildlife crime. Photo: North Yorkshire Police

The dead kite was found close to the scene of another wildlife crime. Photo: North Yorkshire Police

North Yorkshire’s unenviable reputation for raptor persecution continued as police revealed another red kite has been shot.

A member of the public found the dead bird a short distance from where another badly injured red kite was found last month.

Police said the incident was nothing short of disgraceful and appealed for information to help their investigation into the crime.

In the latest example of raptor persecution, the bird’s body was found at Timble Ings near Fewston Reservoir, about 1½ miles from where a shot red kite was discovered in May. That bird was so badly injured it had to be put down.

North Yorkshire Police said: “On Monday, a member of the public found a dead adult red kite at Timble Ings, between Harrogate and Skipton.

“It was taken to a vet to be examined and x-rayed. A number of shotgun pellets were found in it, and this appears to have been the cause of its death.

“In the last two months, six red kites have been shot or died in circumstances that suggest poisoning in North Yorkshire.

“The red kite found at Timble Ings will have been killed some time before it was found, and police are appealing for information to help bring those responsible to justice.”

PC Gareth Jones, wildlife crime co-ordinator at North Yorkshire Police, said: “Red kites are majestic birds, and it is wonderful to see them soaring in the skies above North Yorkshire.

“It has taken many years to re-introduce them after they were persecuted to extinction in the UK.

“The extent of persecution of these birds is nothing short of disgraceful, and people will quite rightly be shocked by these cruel and totally unacceptable criminal acts.”

North Yorkshire Police was criticised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds when it issued a simple caution to a junior gamekeeper who admitted setting three illegal pole traps on the Mossdale Estate near Hawes, where a hen harrier had been seen.

The traps, which trap raptors by their legs, have been illegal for more than 100 years.

The RSPB head of investigations Bob Elliot said: “These are dreadful barbaric devices and have no place in the 21st century. North Yorkshire has long held the unenviable reputation of the worst county in England for raptor persecution.

“While we are grateful for the excellent police response in attending this incident, we simply do not understand the decision to issue a caution for such a serious case.”

The chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Peter Charlesworth, said illegal raptor persecution was harming the area’s reputation.

The latest dead red kite was found just two miles outside the Yorkshire Dales national park boundary.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour at Timble Ings approximately two weeks ago to contact them.

Anyone with information is asked to phone 101, select option 2 and ask for PC Gareth Jones, or email him. Members of the public can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. North Yorkshire Police launch ‘Operation Owl’ to crack down on raptor persecution
  2. Shot sparrowhawk adds to North Yorkshire’s grim toll of killed raptors
  3. Police probe killing of poisoned red kite
  4. Police ’saddened’ as shot red kite brings toll of persecuted birds to eight
  5. Police plea to Black Isle walkers after six birds of prey found dead