Another dead golden eagle: surely not a cover up?

Information has been received about the recent discovery of a dead golden eagle in Scotland, whose injuries suggested it had been killed illegally (poison is not thought to have played a part in this one).

The discovery of the eagle’s body and an assessment of its injuries, along with tracking data from its satellite tag, led to a joint police/RSPB search of a well-known sporting estate last month.

Why hasn’t there been any public statement about this incident from the two police forces involved (Grampian & Tayside) or the RSPB? Fair enough for investigators to keep quiet prior to the search so as not to alert any potential offenders, but it’s now several weeks later and still no statement? Surely this incident is of significant public interest?

If it hadn’t appeared on this blog, would this incident ever have come to the public’s attention? It certainly wouldn’t be included in the ‘official’ annual persecution stats because those figures only relate to known poisoning incidents; they don’t include incidents where other methods of persecution have been employed such as shooting, nest destruction or trapping. It might get published in the RSPB’s list of ’probable’ persecution incidents in their 2012 annual review, but that won’t be published for at least 18 months (winter 2013) by which time this latest eagle death would be considered ‘old news’. How convenient, for one sector of society at least.

For the time being, specific details about this incident, including the nature of the eagle’s injuries and the name of the estate that was subsequently searched have been deliberately excluded from this post as it will be claimed the investigation is still ‘live’. Even if that’s true, what, or who is preventing the police/RSPB from issuing a preliminary press release about their investigation into yet another suspicious death of a golden eagle on yet another Scottish sporting estate?

11 thoughts on “Another dead golden eagle: surely not a cover up?”

  1. Absolute disgrace that these are being killed just so one stuck up rich land owner can line his pockets…. Its about time people who owned these estate where jailed as well as the game keepers, or shoot and poison them

  2. Unbelievable. People who think shooting birds is a sport resort to this kind of action without giving a toss about anyone but themselves. Selfish ignorant idiots with more money than sense, they themselves should be shot.

  3. Selfish mindless git responsible. Who is paying who for the silence? Estate owners make me sick, think they are a law unto themselves. Can anyone out there help get some details on who and why so this can be investigated please?

  4. Maybe the sporting estate involved was thought unlikely to be responsible so the police wanted more time to compile evidence on a neighbour etc!? Is it really likely that the RSPR would let the killing of a golden eagle be swept under the carpet!

    1. Yes, maybe the estate that was searched was not involved with this alleged offence, although for a search warrant to have been issued there must have been a certain level of ‘evidence-based suspicion’ – these warrants are not issued on a whim! Nevertheless, just because the estate was searched does not equate to either guilt or innoncence, but that isn’t relevant to whether the police should issue a press statement. The point of the press statement would not be to point the finger but rather to state the facts – that a satellite-tracked golden eagle has been found dead in suspicious circusmstances and this led to a police search of a sporting estate. By not issuing a statement, suspicions are automatically aroused, rightly or wrongly.

      Is it likely the RSPB would let the killing of a golden eagle be swept under the carpet? They’ve done it before – a poisoned golden and white-tailed eagle found dead on a Highland sporting estate in 2010 – no publicity; the death of a white-tailed eagle, in suspicious circumstances, on Skye last year (that was reported on this blog a few weeks ago) – no publicity. So in answer to your question, yes, it’s likely. The question that should be asked is ‘why?’.

  5. Personnaly I totally agree, with your comments, the RSPB, and the police, should be more forthcoming, with the knowledge. That there has been a golden eagle illegally killed and name and shame the relevant estate it was found on?

  6. Civilised, the mindless morons that do this, I don’t think so.
    How much longer must these and other birds suffer in order to satisfy the ego of some mindless ‘Tweedy’
    who’s entire breed should have been consigned to history a century ago.

  7. If it was a member of the public who found this Eagle, why have they kept quiet about it. Why can’t the RSPB/Police at least give a rough idea or the area it was found. e.g. Lanarkshire/Perthshire etc. What would the RSPB hope to gain by withholding any info about this, surely they must see that this will get out eventually and they will come out of it looking bad. Also I don’t think it would have been a Birdwatcher who found it or it would be well known by now. If the Eagle was satellite tagged, then somebody like for example, Roy Dennis or whoever tagged it must know that the bird is not moving and possible dead, why are they not shouting out about it. Think there is something very strange going on here and Police/RSPB may be protecting some very well known and very public estate. Well it’s out in public now so maybe something will happen soon. Hope so.

  8. It is puzzling why the paying members of the RSPB do not ask questions of their senior officials on their recurring silence on such matters. They have remarkably little to say (in public – and perhaps in private) on what are events that any reasonable person would expect to hear them shouting about from the rooftops.

  9. It would be interesting to know whether it was killed on one of the estates that signed the petition against raptor persecution and if so what action will be taken against it if any by the shooting organisations in respect of all their law abiding members who condone these selfish despicable acts.

  10. I wonder what the percentage is, of satellite-tagged eagles illegally killed? I realise it’s not a straightforward extrapolation (young birds dispersing over wide areas vs older sedentary birds in safer habitats) but this figure must shed light on the scale of overall eagle persecution.

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