The buzzard that was shot. Photo: North Yorkshire Police

The buzzard that was shot. Photo: North Yorkshire Police

The carnage of birds of prey in England’s blackspot county continues, with North Yorkshire Police expressing frustration after the death of two more raptors.

One red kite was found dead and a buzzard so seriously injured that it had to be put down.

Both birds had been shot.

North Yorkshire has the worst reputation for raptor persecution of any area in England.

In the first incident, a large adult red kite was found dead by a member of the public on Thursday 25 October near Wath in Nidderdale. The bird was taken to a specialist vet to be x-rayed to determine the cause of its death. The x-ray uncovered two pieces of shot, which were lodged within the bird.

On Thursday 8 November an adult buzzard was found by a member of the public, injured but still alive in Riccall near Selby.

A police spokesperson said: “Despite efforts to save the bird, due to the extensive injuries that had been inflicted upon it, it had to be put to sleep.

“On examination, the vet believed that the bird had been shot in the days before it was found, due to the level of infection in the wound. Further inspection of the bird found the shot had shattered its collarbone, shoulder and humerus leaving the bird in significant pain, until it was euthanised.”

A spokesperson for the Nidderdale Moorland Group said: “We have been made aware of this incident and we are fully supporting the police investigation.

“An estate owner and moorland group member found the bird and handed it into the police. The Nidderdale Moorland Group is dismayed by this incident and is committed to helping eradicate wildlife crime. We would ask anyone with information to contact the police.”

Sergeant Kevin Kelly from North Yorkshire Police’s rural taskforce said “It’s with much frustration that I again make another witness appeal regarding two rare birds of prey, that we are privileged to have in our skies, being mindlessly and illegally shot.

“If you have any information that will assist the investigation, please come forward and contact police via 101 and pass the information to the force control room. Please quote reference 12180210290 for the buzzard investigation and 12180199938 for the red kite investigation.

“We have two extremely experienced wildlife crime officers leading these investigations and they will follow up on any tangible enquiries.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of public for taking the responsibility to report these matters.”

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