Red Kite persecution continues as another killed over Blubberhouses

North Yorkshire Police have slammed the 'shocking extent of Red Kite persecution' after another bird was fatally shot down over Blubberhouses on Sunday, May 22.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 11:49 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 12:53 pm
Red Kite shot and killed

The injured red kite was found by a walker on Hall Lane on Sunday morning before being taken to a specialist avian vet in Harrogate.

Examinations confirmed that the bird had been shot and had suffered a shattered wing. Its injury was so severe that vets were forced to euthanize it.

In the last two months, five red kites in North Yorkshire have been shot or died in circumstances that suggest poisoning, as well as three further afield in the region.

One, found near Malton, was rehabilitated and released back to the wild, but the other four were so badly injured they had to be euthanized by a vet.

The three suspected poisoned birds are being examined by the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

In April, police launched an investigation after a red kite was found shot on farmland, near Nidd in Harrogate, before being put down by a vet.

PC Gareth Jones, Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator at North Yorkshire Police, confirmed another investigation has been launched into the ongoing persecution of the 'magnificent' birds.

He said: "Red kites were persecuted into virtual extinction in the UK, but in recent years they have been re-introduced through breeding programmes at a number of locations nationally.

"In Yorkshire, they have spread from their release site at Harewood House, and are now breeding over a large area. Red kites are scavengers, and normally eat carrion, their favourite food being rats and rabbits.

"Red kites are magnificent birds than can be regularly seen soaring over our area, bringing pleasure to many people.

"I am personally saddened by the scale of persecution of these birds - it has to stop, and I would ask for anyone who can help this investigation to get in touch."