Peregrine falcon put down after being illegally trapped and shot in Suffolk

The peregrine falcon was found by a member of the public with serious injuries

The peregrine falcon was found by a member of the public with serious injuries - Credit: Suffolk police

A wild peregrine falcon had to be put down after being illegally trapped and shot in north Suffolk.

The bird was discovered seriously injured in a field in Cratfield on Tuesday, March 15 and was taken to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns.

Both of its legs were badly broken and it was also found to have been shot.

Despite attempts to save the falcon's life, the injuries were so severe it had to be put down.

The falcon was found with two broken legs

The falcon was found with two broken legs - Credit: Suffolk police

Police believe the bird was caught in an illegal trap and the force would like to hear from anyone who could help find those responsible.

Sgt Brian Calver, head of Suffolk police’s Rural Crime Unit, said: "These iconic birds are not a common sight in Suffolk and are vulnerable to human interference.

Sargent Brian Calver is part of the wildlife department in the police PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sgt Brian Calver, head of Suffolk police’s Rural Crime Unit - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"Populations are improving slowly but persecution by humans remains one of the biggest threats to them.

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"These are schedule one birds and the fastest animal on the planet.

"To trap any bird in such a way is cruel but to release an illegally trapped bird with broken legs is horrible.

"This bird would not have been able to feed and if not found by a member of the public would have suffered a slow and painful death.

"The traps we suspect to have caused these injuries are indiscriminate when used unlawfully."

Jenny Shelton from the RSPB’s Investigations Unit commented: "It’s sad and depressing to hear that a peregrine has been shot and potentially illegally trapped, leading to such injuries that made it impossible to save it.

"All wild birds are protected by law, and we encourage anyone with information to please come forward without delay."

Anyone who has any information about the incident should contact Suffolk police, quoting crime reference number 37/18491/22.

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