Police probe after sparrowhawk found shot dead in Doncaster ditch

Sparrowhawks are a protected species. Credit: PA

Police are investigating after a protected bird of prey was found dead in a plastic bag following a "shocking act of violence".

The bird was discovered glued to a bamboo stick in a drainage ditch close to a canal in the Thorne area of Doncaster, South Yorkshire Police said.

It had been shot with a pellet gun.

Investigating officer PC Sarah Barrowcliffe said: "Sparrowhawks are a protected species and it is an offence to harm them.

"This was a shocking act violence against a beautiful and defenceless bird and officers are working hard to identify those responsible."

The bird was found dead on 10 April. Anyone with information about the incident should call 101.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.