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Condemnation as golden eagle found shot

Last modified: 09 October 2012

Profile of golden eagle

Image: Bill Paton

RSPB Scotland has today (9th October 2012) condemned the shooting of a golden eagle, found barely alive, by a walker in Dumfriesshire.

The bird was discovered on Saturday 6th October on a grouse moor near Wanlockhead, close to the Southern Upland Way. However, it is not clear precisely where the shooting occurred.

The eagle, an adult male, was recovered by Scottish SPCA inspectors and is undergoing treatment at its new rehabilitation centre near Alloa.

Examination by vets showed shotgun pellets had caused injuries to the tail muscles and one wing. The bird also had extensive feather damage, suggesting it had been floundering on the ground for some time and had not been able to feed. It is too early to tell whether the bird will recover.

Stuart Housden, Director RSPB Scotland commented “With one golden eagle already found poisoned this year, and a second bird the apparent victim of an illegal trap, this is yet another appalling incident. Whoever pulled the trigger must have deliberately targeted one of our most iconic birds, with lethal intentions.

“Whoever it was has access to a shotgun, and the confidence to use it in this area. Much has been made of an apparent recent decline in the illegal poisoning of Scotland’s birds of prey, but this, and other recent criminal incidents, show that efforts to stamp out the illegal persecution of strictly protected wildlife have a considerable way to go.”

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