Police on trail of owl's killer

SUFFOLK Constabulary were today out on the trail of the killer of Fetlar the snowy owl.Fetlar's body was discovered close to the caravan site in Dunwich on Sunday morning.

SUFFOLK Constabulary were today out on the trail of the killer of Fetlar the snowy owl.

Fetlar's body was discovered close to the caravan site in Dunwich on Sunday morning.

Staff from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Barns, near Stowmarket, confirmed the bird was Fetlar and added it was shot at close range with an air weapon.

Pc Mark Bryant, who was out interviewing people today in a bid to find the shooter, said: "Someone knows something, and my gut reaction is this is kids. I can't believe one person went on an owl hunt.

"Someone will know something, someone will have been bragging about it. "Everybody has been talking about it at Dunwich, Fetlar became a local celebrity and people are not happy."

Suffolk Constabulary spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said: "This is an emotive issue and that may help bring people forward. We are making various enquiries at the moment and are appealing for any information.

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"I can not confirm 100 per cent yet, but we believe we are looking at criminal damage and with an air rifle being involved.''

Police believe that because Fetlar was raised in captivity her death is a criminal damage offence. Any criminal damage over £5,000 can go to crown court and carried a maximum ten-year jail sentence. This can be further aggravated by the use of a weapon.

On March 26 when Fetlar, who resembles Hedwig from the Harry Potter movies, escaped on his first flight of the year from Suffolk Owl sanctuary.

But before a falconer could reach him, Fetlar was mobbed by rooks and took off in panic heading north. When the owl was later spotted on the Suffolk coast hopes were high that he would be recaptured safely.

N The Evening Star is offering a reward of £500 for anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for shooting Fetlar.

N Anyone with any information about Fetlar's death should call Pc Bryant on 01986 835300 or Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555111.