1. ITV Report

Peregrine falcon shot down in Cambridge

Peregrine falcons are the fastest birds in the world. Credit: RSPB

A young peregrine falcon has been found shot on the outskirts of Cambridge.

The bird was reported to the Raptor Foundation on 18 September, who collected the bird and contacted the police and the RSPB. The peregrine was x-rayed and found to contain a pellet from an air rifle, suggesting it had been deliberately – and illegally – shot. According to vets, the bird could have been shot up to two weeks before.

It's now being looked after at the Raptor Foundation, near St Ives, but vets say its future is uncertain.

Like all birds of prey, peregrines are protected by UK law and are on the National Wildlife Crime Priority list. Anyone found guilty of killing or harming a peregrine could face an unlimited fine and, or, six months in jail.

Peregrine falcons are incredible thunderbolts of evolution and most of us are thrilled when they take up residence in our cities. Peregrines are traditionally found on moors and upland areas, but are increasingly moving in to our cities as persecution pushes them out of their upland habitats.

They may be the fastest birds in the world, still no peregrine falcon is a match for a gun. We’re naturally disappointed and concerned that this bird has been deliberately shot and urge anyone with information to come forward.”

– Chris Bowden, RSPB Cambridgeshire and the Fens Area Manager

"This was a senseless act, causing injury and distress to a protected bird. I'd encourage anyone who has information about this incident to contact the police or the RSPB. Doing so might prevent other wildlife from being harmed in the same way.

– PC Alun Bradshaw