Marsh harrier shot, rescued, rehabbed & released in Yorkshire

There was some brilliant video footage posted on Twitter yesterday showing a rehabilitated Marsh harrier being released back in to the wild by the indefatigable Jean Thorpe (@jeanthorpeRR).

[Photo by Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve]

From the information provided, it was reported that the Marsh harrier had suffered a broken wing caused by a shotgun pellet and was found injured next to a game-shooting estate near Scarborough.

The x-ray details suggest this was on 18th August 2019.

Expert veterinary care and rehabilitation by Mark Naguib of Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic and Jean and this harrier was able to be released.

We haven’t seen any previous reports about the illegal shooting of this Marsh harrier, nor any police appeals for information.

[Jean releasing the harrier, photos by Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve]

UPDATE 9 October 2019: North Yorkshire Police appeal for info after Marsh Harrier found shot near Scarborough (here)

12 thoughts on “Marsh harrier shot, rescued, rehabbed & released in Yorkshire”

  1. What a woman. Well done Jean, this is great news, a great achievement. Really positive news as opposed to the sometimes depressing stuff that appears on the RPUK site – appreciate it’s not your fault RPUK!

  2. Jean Thorpe is truly amazing – I was reading Patrick Barkham’s ‘Badgerlands’ and her name came up there too in relation to fighting against badger baiting. Dedicated, amazing and brave too.

  3. Jean, I hereby appoint you ‘Wonder Woman’ or ‘Dame Jean Thorpe’ – or both if you like. You are an inspiration to us all for your fantastic dedication over many, many years (I won’t say how many!). Well done you, and a pox on the ignorant oaf who shot it. I hope the bird starts a new moult quickly, it seems to need a new dress to celebrate Christmas back in the wild!

  4. I’ve met Jean a time or two and yes she is not only dedicated and indefatigable but a true and blunt down to earth person with no airs or graces. She and the team of vets at Battleflats do an absolutely outstanding job in getting so much damaged and human injured wildlife back in the wild, we can but salute their knowledge, courage and dedication, yet again.

  5. Thankyou , it was a difficult weekend. Saturday 17th August the juv Buzzard from Warter was brought in from a keepered estate. This young bird had shotgun shot pellets to the leg and wing.Thankfully both pellets were not hampering the bird. 18th August the juv Marsh Harrier was brought in by a local farmer who didnt know what species he had found floundering in a corn field. This too had been shotgun shot on a keepered estate, with a pellet insitu breaking the wing in 2 places.There was damage to an eye too which worried us. I am very fortunate to have wildlife vet Mark Naguib to turn to. Both birds were x rayed, examined and treated by Mark and the staff at Battleflatts vets. Both incidents were reported to Humberside Police and North Yorkshire Police and RSPB investigations Unit.
    The buzzard , a big this years female was settled in an aviary, she flew , she ate and was left to settle.She was released a few days later , not back where she was found, left the hand with gusto and flying well. The juv Marsh Harrier eye was treated with drops and the fractured wing was feather splinted , the bird was housed in tight quarters , hoping to rest the wing for it to heal. The bird displayed wild stressy behaviour. It is always worrying housing a wild bird that needs to rest, they can break feathers which can make their stay even longer. The bird ate well and the wing healed over the next 3 weeks. The eye was a concern but that too came right. It was decided to release her at Wheldrake NNR, Craig Ralston an old friend and supporter joined us for the release. Always thrilling to get an injured bird back out again, but especially memorable to release a shot bird. She went well and has been seen roosting with other Marsh Harriers on the site. 2 young juv birds just starting their wild life and both illegally shot in Yorkshire. I have cared for many shot, trapped, injured birds of prey. To hold these individuals in the hand knowing they have been deliberately and illegally targeted is often hard to bear. We do our best for them, sometimes successfully but often not. It has gone on way too long.

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