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Family's precious bird of prey dies of "shock from fireworks"

PUBLISHED: 06:40 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 12 November 2019

A family has said they are devastated after their precious Harris Hawk was killed by an ‘excessive’ display on Saturday. Photo: Mike Warner

A family has said they are devastated after their precious Harris Hawk was killed by an 'excessive' display on Saturday. Photo: Mike Warner

Archant

A family has been left devastated after their precious bird of prey was, they believe, killed by an "excessive" fireworks display on Saturday.

Mike Warner, 51, said he was "devastated" after his Harris Hawk died in the prime of its life because of a "ridiculously loud" fireworks display.

"It's cost me a bird that wasn't ready to die yet. He was 15 and could have lived for another five to ten years," Mr Warner said.

"Having a hawk is something different from anything else. They have strong emotional connections and bonds to their owners. He would lay down and sleep on my daughter's hand, that's how much trust they get."

Mr Warner said that like my animal owners, he had made preparations to ensure his bird was safe and protected from fireworks on bonfire night.

However, he said that he had no way to prepare for people setting off fireworks on other nights.

"In hindsight I think I should have brought him in. I brought the kestrels we own inside as they are more twitchy, but I thought the hawk would be alright," Mr Warner said.

"There should be laws against this," he added. "It's not just bonfire night or fireworks night - it goes on for weeks. It is a total lack of consideration."

Mr Warner works in Lowestoft and Norwich providing end-of-life care.

He said: "The saddest part is he was fine yesterday morning. He was very alert. They normally seem less lively if they're ill.

"But the fireworks last night were so close, and so loud I was shocked. They went on for over 90 minutes. The next morning I saw my hawk had died. There is no other explanation."

Mr Warner called for the UK to adopt stricter laws controlling the sale and use of fireworks.

"I believe in Italy you aren't allowed fireworks that are above a certain volume. And you can't set them off in public spaces - it's only at events.

"This year Sainsbury's didn't sell any - they put profits aside. More shops should do that.

"To lose a bird that's still in his prime is upsetting, it really is. My daughter had been asking for this hawks for months and now we have lost it because people are just allowed to carry on."

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