Norfolk

Tesco bird released after shooting threat at Yarmouth store

Pied Wagtail caught at Great Yarmouth Tesco Image copyright Chris Packham
Image caption The pied wagtail was caught in a net at Great Yarmouth Tesco earlier

A small bird that earned a last minute reprieve after supermarket giant Tesco retracted a bid to shoot it has been caught and released.

Plans to employ a marksman to shoot the pied wagtail at the Great Yarmouth store were put on hold after TV star Chris Packham tweeted his opposition.

The British Trust for Ornithology said it had been caught, with Mr Packham tweeting a photo of the "renegade".

Tesco said shooting the bird was only considered as a last resort.

Natural England granted the firm a licence to shoot the wagtail earlier this month on the grounds of public health after it was spotted in the shop's aisles.

But Mr Packham, who presents BBC Springwatch, used his Twitter account to urge Tesco to get in touch with the BTO instead, to attempt to catch the bird safely.

Tesco said many attempts to catch it had failed, but tweeted it was "happy to liaise with BTO and explore other options".

The BTO confirmed it had been caught earlier after putting up a giant net in the store.

Pied wagtails are typically 18cm (7in) long and weigh 21g (three-quarters of an ounce). There are 470,000 breeding pairs in the UK.

They are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act, with anybody who kills one without a licence facing a £5,000 fine.

Image copyright Geoff pick
Image caption Great Yarmouth Tesco was granted a licence to shoot the bird "for the purpose of preserving public health"

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