Wildlife officers are appealing for help after a bird of prey was shot near a nature reserve in the Ripon area.
A member of the public found a kestrel suffering from an injured wing near High Batts Nature Reserve, at North Stainley, on Monday, July 15.
The bird was taken to a specialist vet in Harrogate who found its wing had been shattered by shotgun pellets. It was not possible to treat the Kestrel and it had to be put down.
PC Gareth Jones, a wildlife officer for North Yorkshire Police, said: “A Kestrel is a small bird of prey commonly seen hovering over roadside verges and byways.
“It is a bird which is not normally subjected to this type of persecution and this is a most unusual occurrence.
“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area over the weekend prior to the bird being found and has any information which may assist the investigation to get in touch.”
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) condemned the shooting and joined officers in appealing for witness to come forward.
Guy Shorrock, of the RSPB, said: “This charismatic little falcon will be a familiar bird to most people.
“This is a senseless act and we would ask anyone with any information to contact North Yorkshire Police.”
If you can help officers with their enquiries, telephone North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Gareth Jones or Ripon police.
Alternatively, information can be emailed to email@example.com
If you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.
Quote reference number 12130119899 when passing information about this incident.