North Yorkshire Police appeal for information to trace those responsible for death of the 8 Red Kite in the last 2 months

rk_blubberhousesRed Kites were persecuted into virtual extinction in the UK but in recent years they have been re-introduced through breeding programme at a number of locations nationally, the site in Yorkshire was at Harewood House. They have spread for their release site and are breeding over a large area around Harewood House. Red Kites are scavengers and normally eat carrion, their favourite food being rats and rabbits but they will take small mammals occasionally.

 rk blubberhouses wing

Over the last 2 months 8 Red Kites have been shot or died in circumstances that suggest poisoning locally. Three of the birds that are suspect poisonings are being examined by the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) and the remaining five have been shot. One bird  from Low Marishes near Malton was rehabilitated by Rydale Rescue (Jean Thorpe) and re-released back to the wild but the other four birds were badly injured that they had to be euthanized by a vet.

xray blubberhouses RK

The extent of the damage cause by shotgun pellets can be clearly seen in this X-Ray

 Red kites are magnificent birds that can be regularly seen soaring over this area and bring pleasure to many people. They are a Schedule 1 bird and as such are afforded special protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. I personally and saddened by this scale of persecution of these birds and would ask for anyone who can help North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Unit to contact me by dialling 101 and ask for me by name or on my mobile 07909686508.

4 comments to North Yorkshire Police appeal for information to trace those responsible for death of the 8 Red Kite in the last 2 months

  • Tony Rawlings

    The radio opaque particles shown on this radiograph are not shotgun pellets.

    Editor’s Comment. Tony why not enlighten us to what the objects in the X-Ray are?

  • Northern Diver

    Is this the Tony Rawlings who is the “shooting, falconry and fishing expert” ???

    Editor’s Comment. We have no idea who this individual is. Sorry

  • Tony Rawlings

    From the photograph I would suggest they are particles of grit/dirt and stone in the matted blood on the feathers which by the 2D nature of radiographs would look as if they are in the bone. I have interpreted radiographs professionally for over 30 years but you don’t need to be an expert in anything to realise that these are not shotgun pellets, just google shotgun wound radiographs and you can see that pellets are more or less round and all the same size. A few may fragment or distort but most retain roundness. In addition if the bird had been shot pellets would have been spread more widely across the wing owing to the spread of pellets at the sort of distance that anyone would be likely to get within to shoot the bird. Intrigued to know who my “expert” namesake is! Northern Diver should be less interested in tribalism and more interested in the truth.

  • Northern Diver

    I thought from Tony Rawlings categorical denial that the items on the X-ray were shotgun pellets, may have indicated that he was a qualified forensic scientist or professional ballistics expert. But I could find no evidence.

    So, if a specialist avian veterinarian and the Police say that they are shotgun pellets, when they have handled the actual bird, then I know who I believe. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to your qualifications Tony? I may change my opinion. Tribalism doesn’t come into it, facts do.