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Juvenile peregrine is shot in Cambridge


By Adrian Curtis


The peregrine falcon survived the incident
The peregrine falcon survived the incident

Police appealing for information after air rifle attack on young bird of prey

X-ray of peregrine falcon shot on outskirts of Cambridge
X-ray of peregrine falcon shot on outskirts of Cambridge

A young peregrine falcon has been found shot on the outskirts of Cambridge.

Thankfully the bird of prey survived the attack, which left it with a pellet wound from an air rifle.

The incident was reported to the Raptor Foundation on September 18 and they informed the police and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The injuries suggest that the peregrine was deliberately and illegally shot and may well have sustained the injury two weeks previous to being discovered.

X-ray of peregrine falcon shot on outskirts of Cambridge
X-ray of peregrine falcon shot on outskirts of Cambridge

From the ring on its leg, the bird was identified as one of three that fledged from a local nest in Cambridgeshire earlier this year. It is now being looked after at the Raptor Foundation, near St Ives, but vets say it future is uncertain.

Chris Bowden, RSPB Cambridgeshire said: “Peregrine falcons are incredible thunderbolts of evolution and most of us are thrilled when they take up residence in our cities. Peregrines are traditionally found on moors and upland areas, but are increasingly moving in to our cities as persecution pushes them out of their upland habitats.

“They may be the fastest birds in the world, still no peregrine falcon is a match for a gun. We’re naturally disappointed and concerned that this bird has been deliberately shot and urge anyone with information to come forward.”

PC Alun Bradshaw added: “This was a senseless act, causing injury and distress to a protected bird.

“I’d encourage anyone who has information about this incident to contact the police or the RSPB. Doing so might prevent other wildlife from being harmed in the same way.”

Peregrine falcons are the fastest birds in the world, and can reach speeds of 200mph when diving (known as ‘stooping’) for prey.

Like all birds of prey, peregrines are protected by UK law and are on the National Wildlife Crime Priority list. Anyone found guilty of killing or harming a peregrine could face an unlimited fine and, or, six months in jail.

Anyone with information relating to this incident are advised to call Cambridgeshire police on 101.



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