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Police investigating shooting of protected ‘Red Kite’ bird in Newry

This Red Kite, also nicknamed ‘Vivienne’, was well-known in the area

Stock image of a Red Kite

Police have launched an investigation after a protected ‘Red Kite’ bird was shot in Newry.

The animal was found injured in the vicinity of Cullion Road, on Saturday, April 20. It was later taken to a local veterinary clinic for treatment but, due to its injuries, was sadly put down.

Following an X-Ray on April 22, and later confirmation from Agri-Food and Biosciences (AFBI), it became evident in the X-Ray that the bird had been shot, as pellets were embedded in its wing and neck, including a fracture to its humerus.

A police spokesperson said: “The Red Kite is a large, protected bird of prey, re-introduced to Northern Ireland in 2008 and is a truly beautiful raptor with distinctive markings, recognised by its fork tail.

“This Red Kite, also nicknamed ‘Vivienne’ due to its identifying wing-tags brown-pink 6V, was well-known in the area and throughout the Mournes since it was born here back in 2018.

“At this time, we are asking for information from the public due to offences falling under the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (NI) 2011.

“Police take all wildlife crime very seriously and are appealing to anyone who has information about what may have happened to this protected bird to call us on 101, quoting reference number 1229 22/04/24.

“If you are aware of anyone in the area intent on harming birds of prey please contact police.”

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