Police believe the traps were targeted at raptors such as the buzzard. Photo: David Dixon CC-BY-SA-2.0

Police believe the traps were targeted at raptors such as the buzzard. Photo: David Dixon CC-BY-SA-2.0

Police are asking for help from outdoor enthusiasts after an illegal trap snared a bird of prey in the Highlands.

Officers are appealing for information from anyone who may have seen suspicious activity last month in Strathdearn, south-west of Tomatin.

A member of the public found a buzzard caught in a trap on the southern slopes of Beinn Bhreac on 7 June. Police Scotland said it believed the traps in the area had been deliberately set to target birds of prey.

The passer-by managed to release the raptor from the trap.

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: “It is very disappointing to have an incident like this reported, especially when there is a great deal of positive work going on in the Highlands to tackle wildlife crime.

“Unfortunately, there are some who continue to deliberately target birds of prey; there is nothing accidental in the setup of these traps.

“I am grateful to the member of the public who came across the bird and for their assistance in trying to free it. They were slightly injured in the process of releasing the bird and had the knowledge to photograph it.

“We are keen to speak to anybody who was walking or mountain biking in this area over the weekend of 3 and 4 June 2017. If anyone saw people or vehicles on these tracks that they thought out of place or acting suspiciously I would encourage them to contact us.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting reference NN13977/17 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.”

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