Derbyshire wildlife expert thanks public for their support after peregrine falcon is shot dead

This x-ray shows where the bird was shot.

This x-ray shows where the bird was shot.

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A wildlife expert has thanked the people of Derbyshire for their support after the “cowardly” killing of a bird of prey.

Police are following several leads after the peregrine falcon was found dead at the headquarters of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in Belper – but the perpetrator has not been caught.

The male bird – which had been shot in its shoulder – was part of a nesting pair on the roof of the charity’s East Mill base.

Tim Birch, of the trust, said: “We have received a lot of comments and support from members of the public who are as outraged as we are at this incident.

“It was a cowardly act.

“We are all incredibly privileged to have one of our most iconic and spectacular birds living so close alongside us.

“The peregrines at Belper enrich all our lives and we are keen to ensure that they continue to live and breed safely among us all.”

Peregrine falcons are fully protected by law, which makes it an offence to deliberately kill or injure them.

Derbyshire police’s specialist wildlife officers are investigating the offence in partnership with the trust and the RSPB.

A £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible is on offer.

The bird was found dead on January 17.

Anyone with information should call Derbyshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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