Devon

Appeal over Ipplepen peregrine falcon shooting

Peregrine falcon Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption A £1,000 reward has been offered by the RSPB for information leading to a conviction following the shooting of the peregrine falcon

A reward has been offered for information after a peregrine falcon was shot in a "barbaric" pellet gun attack.

The rare bird of prey - which is a protected species - suffered a fractured wing when it was hit with an air rifle pellet.

It was found near Ipplepen, near Newton Abbott, Devon, on 23 August.

The RSPB has offered a £1,000 reward to encourage witnesses to come forward.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the shooting was "incredibly hard to investigate" with no witnesses.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption The RSPB described Devon as a "bird of prey persecution black spot"

Cornwall's police wildlife crime officer, Josh Marshall, said someone in the local community would "hold the key" to solving the crime.

"This peregrine falcon will have been shot by someone having a clear motive to destroy this rare bird of prey," he said.

Tony Whitehead, from the RSPB, said: "Whatever drives a person to do this, it's important to understand that killing birds of prey is not only barbaric, it is also against the law.

"This makes the perpetrators, however they seek to justify their behaviour, no more than common criminals and we'd expect them to be treated as such."

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption A £1,000 reward has been offered by the RSPB after the animal was shot with an air rifle pellet causing fractures to its wing

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