Tawny Owl dies after being shot with air rifle in north Yorkshire

SHOT: The tawny owl had to be put to sleep after being shot

SHOT: The tawny owl had to be put to sleep after being shot

 

A family spotted the injured tawny owl by their garden fence, in Thorpe Bassett, near Rillington, on Easter Sunday, and immediately went to its aid by taking the tawny to Jean Thorpe, a wildlife rehabilitator in Norton. Police are now investigating the incident, which is believed to have taken place two weeks ago, after the mushroom-shaped pellet fired from the rifle broke both its legs and vets were unable to save her.

Mrs Thorpe spotted the breeding female had a large pronounced patch caused by sitting on its eggs to incubate them, and an X-Ray taken by Battle Flatts Vets, in Stamford Bridge, found her legs had started to heal in a “sitting position”. Mrs Thorpe said: “The callous shooter not only illegally cut short her life but also that of her coming brood. “I examined the bird and could see its legs were injured but could find no wounds.

“The bird was fed and housed in a warm box and left in a quiet shed.” But when vets examined the owl, the full extent of the bird’s injuries were revealed. Mrs Thorpe added: “The bird had been shot by an air rifle and the mushroom shaped pellet had broken both the bird’s legs.

“We think this bird had managed to get back to her nest and continue brooding her eggs. “The legs had started to heal in this sitting position and her mate must have continued to feed her.

“Sadly she would never be able to hunt with this inability to catch food and she was put to sleep.”Thorpe Bassett is such a little village someone may know who did this.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 and ask for PC Jeremy Walmsley, wildlife crime officer, at Malton Police Station.

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