Manchester Police appeal for help from the public after a peregrine falcon was found shot near Leigh

A shot peregrine falcon was spotted by a passing driver by the road side  near the East Lancs Road between Leigh and Golborne not far from Bolton.

PEREGRINE-SHOT-NEAR-bOLTON

The driver stopped to help the falcon and took it to a vets practice in Bolton , where it was found to have gunshot wounds.

The bird is still receiving treatment for its injuries, police said.

Detective Constable Randolph Lyle, wildlife officer at Bolton, said: “Sadly, this poor animal appears to have been shot with a shotgun and was in a considerable amount of distress when a good Samaritan kindly stopped to help it.

“Peregrine falcons are given full legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and it is a criminal offence to recklessly kill or injure one. In june 2010 we published details of 3 peregrine chicks which had all been shot to death in their nest also near Bolton. See here for these details. No one was ever charged with this crime. On the 25th June this year a Buzzard found shot in the head near Bolton, you can read this story here, no one has been charged for this crime.

“If anyone has any information about who may be responsible for this crime, or if you heard gunshots in the area around the East Lancs Road on Friday 2 August, please come forward and tell us what you know to assist with our enquiries.”

The incident comes less than two months after another protected species of bird was discovered shot dead around 10 miles away in Bolton.

On that occasion, police were called to Salford Road, at its junction with St Helens Road, at about 8pm on 25 June after a dog walker found the buzzard dead in a nearby field.

X-rays later confirmed the bird had some sort of projectile lodged in its brain, likely to have been fired from a rifle.

PC Lyle said that shooting game is a popular sport in Britain – with a lot of people owning legitimate firearms to shoot certain types of bird lawfully.

He added that it would be ‘unfair’ to tarnish these people over these incidents.

But PC Lyle said: “There are those that do fool around recklessly and in doing so may be shooting at birds not knowing their exact species, and that is something we need to stop.”

He added shooting and killing rare birds can have a ‘devastating impact’ on their habitat and biodiversity.

Anyone with information on the incidents can call police at Bolton on 0161 856 5373.

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