Following on from the appalling news last week when one of our Barn Owls had been discovered dead after being maliciously shot. After further investigations by the landowner(s) it transpires that the "shooting parties & individuals" who do have permission to be on the land have all been cleared of any association with this crime.
After the discovery of the owl it's carcass was taken to a local veterinarian practice for x-rays, it was at this point that it was officially confirmed to have been shot. I have just received a copy of one of the x-rays (below), not brilliant quality as it was taken with an I-phone but some of the pellets can be made out. Apparently there was one pellet in its leg, one in its neck and a small group in its wing.
Since my last blog post the support has been overwhelming, social media forums such as Twitter, Facebook and other blogs and websites (that are against wildlife crime) have spread the news far and wide. The consensus is everyone is disgusted by such a callous act. The Investigative Support Officer for the National Wildlife Crime Unit has contacted me and I now await the local police wildlife crime unit to get in touch so the incident can be officially logged. The RSPB have also been in touch and the incident has been logged with them too.
Six years ago there was only one known breeding pair of Barn Owls within my survey area, this number has slowly risen to an all time best of nine pairs in 2014. It obviously proves that the nest box program is slowy having an effect, but for how long as all this hard work is undone in seconds when low life scumbags trespass around the countryside with firearms performing vicious and cowardly acts like this...........words almost fail me!