The buzzard is expected to be released back into the wild. Photo: Cumbria Constabulary

The buzzard is expected to be released back into the wild. Photo: Cumbria Constabulary

A buzzard that was found with gunshot wounds in the Yorkshire Dales is expected to make a full recovery.

Cumbria police said the bird was found in the Cowgill area in Dentdale earlier this month and taken to a veterinary centre.

A spokesperson said: “X-rays images revealed that the bird had been shot in the right wing and the associated wounds were consistent with an injury occurring at some time during the previous 48 hours.”

The raptor, which was unable to fly, was treated at Kendal College Animal Rescue Centre after being found on 3 May.

The Cumbria Constabulary spokesperson said: “The bird was hospitalised for further treatment at the centre and it is hoped it will be released back into the wild soon.

“Wildlife crime is taken seriously by Cumbria police and anyone with information who can assist with this investigation, or who has any concerns about wildlife crime, should contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

An x-ray of the bird revealed its wing had been shot. Photo: Cumbria Constabulary

An x-ray of the bird revealed its wing had been shot. Photo: Cumbria Constabulary

The Yorkshire Dales national park has seen several incidents of raptor persecution, including a tagged hen harrier that went missing in upper Swaledale in December last year and a shot peregrine falcon was found near Grassington in October.

In July, North Yorkshire Police admitted it had been wrong not to pursue a prosecution through the courts of a junior gamekeeper who admitted setting illegal cruel traps on the Mossdale Estate near Hawes. He was given a police caution for the offence.

The incident prompted the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority chairman Peter Charlesworth to say: “At a time when the Yorkshire Dales is receiving such widespread recognition as a wonderful place to visit, it’s incredibly disappointing that the criminal persecution of birds of prey continues to damage the reputation of the area.

“We know that birds of prey are a big attraction to the millions of visitors that come here, so these acts are causing economic damage as well as appalling harm to wildlife.”

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