Appeal after rare bid shot

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An appeal has been launched after a protected bird was shot in Malton.

Wildlife rescuer Jean Thorpe MBE was called to assist with helping the Red Kite, just weeks after she made an appeal in The Mercury for people to try and protect the county’s varied animals.

She told The Mercury: “A big, adult female Red Kite, protected under schedule one of the Wildlife and Countryside Act was found down on farmland at Low Marishes Malton.

“The bird was gathered up by the tenant farmer on Good Friday evening and I called straight away to collect it.

“She had slight wounds to both wings and a small amount of blood in her mouth.

“She was X-rayed on Sat and found to have been shotgun shot with a shotgun pellet clearly visible on the X-ray by the throat.

“She is fairing well and hopefully will be able to be released soon.

“PC Jez Walmsley the Wildlife Crime Officer at Malton is investigating.

“Someone who has a legally owned firearm has illegally shot this protected raptor.

“So come on the good people of Low Marishes, Old Malton, Pickering she won’t have gone far from where she was shot.

“Please please lets have some information to me on 01653 695124, PC Walmsley or Malton Police Station on 101.”

Jean, who runs Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation, is regularly called upon to care for the victims of wildlife crime but despite working in this field for more than 30 years, she has been angered by a series of new cases that have left birds and animals dead or horrifically injured.

She said: “I’ve dealt with a shot badger, a badger dig and a fen trapped buzzard - all within the last two weeks.

“North Yorkshire in particular has a terrible reputation for bird of prey crimes and badger digging still goes on. At the moment the lamping’ of wildlife at night is rife and, during the day, there’s a lot of hare coursing at this time of year, particularly in East Yorkshire. People need to be aware that these things are going on and, when they see something happening unusual or suspicious, they need to report it immediately.

“All too often, people will mention something two or three weeks after the event, but to be able to catch the perpetrators the police need to know about it when an incident is actually happening.”