Six wild birds have been found dead - and others left dying - after becoming stuck in glue traps deliberately left on bird feeders at a West Sussex nature reserve.
Rangers from Horsham District Council found the stricken entangled birds stuck to feeders and on the ground nearby on Thursday and alerted the RSPCA.
The glue traps were found on bird feeders and vegetation near to a bird hide at the Warnham Local Nature Reserve in Horsham.
The sticky substance - identified as bird lime - had been placed on the feeders and the surrounding vegetation to indiscriminately and cruelly trap any bird that came into contact with it.
Five blue tits and one great tit died after becoming stuck to the traps. The remaining birds are being cared for by the Countryside Warden. It’s hoped they will later be released.
The RSPCA is investigating the incident.
Suspects Three men have been seen in the area acting suspiciously. Two of the men are described as around 30-years-old, six-foot tall and had short hair, shaved at the sides and long on top. A third man was described as older, but not as tall and was wearing a cap.
It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to trap or attempt to trap wild birds and this type of trapping causes immense distress and suffering to the birds. Anyone caught can be sentenced to up to six months in prison and given an unlimited fine if found guilty.
The RSPCA is urging anyone who may have information to contact them in confidence on 0300 123 8018.