Bounty on the heads of Fetlar's killers
A £500 REWARD is been offered by the Evening Star today for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot a snowy owl dead.Fetlar hit the news last month when the Evening Star reported his escaped from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Barns.
A £500 REWARD is been offered by the Evening Star today for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot a snowy owl dead.
Fetlar hit the news last month when the Evening Star reported his escaped from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Barns.
He was discovered roosting near a caravan park in Dunwich last week and staff from the sanctuary came close to capturing him.
But Fetlar was found dead yesterday morning and is thought to have been killed by an air gun.
Although not an endangered species, the snowy owl is a bird of prey and staff at the sanctuary in Stonham Barns have been left sickened by the discovery.
Falconer Gary Butcher, who had been leading attempts to capture the owl said: "Fetlar had been hand-reared and for the past five years had been part of the flying demonstrations we give at Stonham Barns.
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"He would not have been frightened of people, so it would have been relatively easy for someone to get close enough to shoot him with an air weapon."
Today, the Evening Star has offered a £500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Fetlar's killer.
The species, which is closely related to the Eagle Owl, has been made famous by the Harry Potter films.
Standing 20 inches tall and with a wing span of 4ft 6inch, the bird had become popular with those on the caravan site.
It is believed someone entered the privately owned site over the weekend and shot him.
Mr Butcher added: "Fetlar was really something special and we are all devastated at what has happened.
"I just cannot understand how anyone could be so sick to want to do something like this. The police have been informed of the incident and are making inquiries."
The bird had escaped on March 26 on what was his first flight of the year.
The owl was being exercised by Mr Butcher when it flew off and land landed in a field across the A1120 that runs alongside the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.
But before Mr Butcher could reach him, Fetlar was mobbed by rooks and took off in panic heading northwards.
Anyone with information about the owl's death should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324732.
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Opinion - see page 6