This article contains a photograph some readers may find distressing.
A wild peregrine falcon found badly injured after being illegally trapped and shot has been put down, said police.
The bird had with badly broken legs and gunshot injuries when it was discovered by a member of the public in Cratfield near Halesworth in Suffolk on 15 March.
It was taken to Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns but its injuries proved too severe and it was put down, police have now said.
Officers believe the bird was caught in an illegal trap and released alive but injured.
Sgt Brian Calver, head of Suffolk Police’s rural crime unit, said: “These iconic birds are not a common sight in Suffolk and are vulnerable to human interference.
"Populations are improving slowly but persecution by humans remains one of the biggest threats to them.
"These are Schedule One birds and the fastest animal on the planet. To trap any bird in such a way is cruel but to release an illegally trapped bird with broken legs is horrible.
"This bird would not have been able to feed and if not found by a member of the public would have suffered a slow and painful death.
"The traps we suspect to have caused these injuries are indiscriminate when used unlawfully."
He urged anyone with information to contact police on 101.
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