WILDLIFE crime officers are appealing for information after two more rare birds of prey were found shot in North Yorkshire.

The first bird, a large adult red kite, was found dead by a member of the public on the Thursday, October 25 near to Wath in Harrogate.

The bird was recovered and taken to a specialist vet to be x-rayed to determine the cause of its death.

The x-ray uncovered two pieces of shot, which were lodged within the bird.

The second shooting took place on Thursday, November 8 when an adult buzzard was found by a member of the public, injured but still alive in Riccall near Selby.

Despite efforts to save the bird, due to its extensive injuries, it had to be put to sleep. On examination, the vet believed that the bird had been shot in the days before it was found, due to the level of infection in the wound.

Further inspection of the bird found the shot has shattered its collarbone, shoulder and humerus leaving the bird in significant pain, until it was euthanised.

Sergeant Kevin Kelly from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce said “It’s with much frustration, that I again make another witness appeal regarding two rare birds of prey, that we are privileged to have in our skies, being mindlessly and illegally shot.

“We have two extremely experienced wildlife crime officers leading these investigations and they will follow up on any tangible enquiries. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of public for taking the responsibility to report these matters.”

A spokesman for the Nidderdale Moorland Group said: “We have been made aware of this incident and we are fully supporting the police investigation. An estate owner and moorland group member found the bird and handed it into the police. The Nidderdale Moorland Group is dismayed by this incident and is committed to helping eradicate wildlife crime. We would ask anyone with information to contact the police.”

Anyone with any information is asked to telephone police on the 101 non emergency number, and pass the information to the Force Control Room. Quote reference 12180210290 for the buzzard investigation and 12180199938 for the red kite investigation.