The injured buzzard. Photo: North Yorkshire Police

The injured buzzard. Photo: North Yorkshire Police

A buzzard is recovering after being found with gunshot wounds in North Yorkshire.

A farmer discovered the injured bird of prey near Shipton Grange, north-west of York, on 29 March.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was contacted, and the organisation’s inspector Claire Mitchell collected the raptor and police were informed.

Inspector Mitchell said: “The farmer didn’t know the bird had been shot, but he wasn’t flying so the farmer knew there was something seriously wrong with him.

“He was a big healthy bird otherwise, and still quite feisty.

“I took him to a local vet for treatment and x-rays, and that’s when they discovered the shot.”

X-rays showed the bird contained five pieces of shot, two in a foot, one in a leg and two in a wing. Police said the bird is now recovering well in the care of a local wildlife rehabilitator and will be released into the wild once ready.

North Yorkshire Police rural task force Inspector, Matt Hagen, said: “This is yet another despicable act of someone deliberately injuring a bird of prey in our county.

“I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident or might have seen anything which could help our investigation to please get in touch with us on 101.

“North Yorkshire should be a haven for wildlife and we will do everything in our power to ensure we deal with the individuals who target our birds of prey in this way.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference number: 12200052238 or the RSPCA appeal line 0300 1238018 and ask to leave a message for Inspector Mitchell.

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