Endangered red kite shot dead and hung from tree

A red kite has been shot dead and hung from a tree in Cockley Cley

A red kite has been shot dead and hung from a tree in Cockley Cley - Credit: Getty Images

An endangered bird of prey has been shot dead and hung from a tree in a Norfolk village.

A Red Kite seen near Hingham, Norfolk. Photo: Ian Smith

A red kite has been shot dead and hung from a tree in Cockley Cley - Credit: citizenside.com

Norfolk police were called to Swaffham Road in Cockley Cley on Friday, April 9, after someone reported a dead bird hanging from a tree.

Police arrived on the scene to find a red kite, and an X-ray led to a vet finding shot dust around the right ulna and one of the legs being broken, police have said.

The x-ray of the Red Kite that was shot and hung from a tree in Cockley Cley

The x-ray of the Red Kite that was shot and hung from a tree in Cockley Cley - Credit: Norfolk Police

Shot dust is what is left after a bird has been shot and adds to evidence of how the bird died.

On its website, describing the red kite, the RSPB says: "This magnificently graceful bird of prey is unmistakable with its reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail.

"It was saved from national extinction by one of the world's longest-running protection programmes. It has now been successfully re-introduced to England and Scotland."

They eat mainly carrion and worms, and occasionally small mammals. They have a wing span of up to 195cm.

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There are estimated to be 4,600 pairs in the UK.

All birds of prey are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. To intentionally kill or injure one is a criminal offence and could result in an unlimited fine or up to six months in jail.

Police are now investigating the incident and are asking witnesses to come forward with information.

Anyone with information can contact PC Chris Shelley at Norfolk Constabulary on 101 quoting reference 36/25060/21.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

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