Red kite shot in Cotswolds

A red kite has been shot in the Cotswolds AONB close to the village of Salperton.

It was shot on 12th March 2021 and the Gloucester Police rural crime team has announced it on Twitter this evening, along with some x-rays of the kite showing shotgun pellets and a broken humerus.

Disappointingly, there isn’t any further detail available. I couldn’t find a crime reference number or a press release appealing for witnesses.

[UPDATE: Thanks to those who have pointed out that ‘inc 333 14/03’ in the police’s tweet is probably the crime reference number]

[UPDATE #2: Thanks to Gareth Jones from the Glos Raptor Group who has confirmed this red kite was found on the Salperton Estate. He thinks a press release is forthcoming]

UPDATE 19th April 2021: Shot red kite – was it found on the Salperton Park Estate? (here)

13 thoughts on “Red kite shot in Cotswolds”

  1. This is very sad news. Hoping they can catch who did it. The crime reference number will be inc (incident) 333 of 14/03 I’m guessing

    1. It is very sad news. I lived on the edge of the Cotswolds at Upton St Leonards from 1981 to 1983 and used to do a considerable amount of walking and wildlife watching, but there were absolutely no red kites there then. Brilliant that they’re back, but this is infuriating and have there been other shootings we don’t know about? Whoever did this, I can’t see a reason why they’ll not do it again for whatever sordid purpose they have, unless they think they’ll be caught – which is why high profile, public notice about this has deterrence value in getting decent people to keep an eye out. In the future it would be great if some sort of tracking technology was built into firearms to determine the when and where of their movements and use, not so far fetched surely?

  2. Why has it taken over a month to release this information? Could you imagine the furore if the police waited for a month to make a murder public and appeal for witnesses? Clearly it isn’t a direct equivalent, but the lack of importance attached is what makes these criminals so damned cocky.

    1. The delay in making a public announcement is a very frequent police failing and they never give as much as a hint as to how such vital time is lost.
      Actually, delay of a month is by no means as bad as it often is.
      It is a contemptible blemish on police performance.

  3. The death count continues!
    The probability of someone being convicted and punished for these crimes remains about zero.
    It’s a shocking indictment on our society when it is unable to protect these endangered species from criminals.

    I had an interesting conversation with a paraglider this week, who was part of the paraglider community who fly over some of the uplands where raptor persecution takes place. He was totally unaware of the crimes being committed.
    How many other visitors to our National Parks, AONB’s, countryside and beauty spots are unaware of the illegal persecution of birds of prey, or other wildlife for that matter? How many of these people are aware of Operation Owl?
    This matters.
    These visitors are the eyes and ears which will help the police establish where and when suspicious activity or crimes are taking place.
    This has to be addressed.
    There needs to be a huge publicity campaign with roadside notices alerting visitors to the truth of what is happening on the moors and in the countryside.
    It should be impossible to visit a National Park without being made aware of where the raptor persecution hotspots are.
    If it upsets some of those who own or work on the land- then tough.
    They have had long enough to come forward and identify the criminals.
    There are plenty of signs in the countryside reminding visitors that their dogs are not permitted on access land, or signs stating “Private- No public right of way”.
    It is time these signs were joined by other sighs stating “Raptor Persecution area- report suspicious activity to the police Tel 101 or 999 in an emergency”
    If these signs were supplemented with visitor leaflets in the cafes, hotels and information areas – we might just see the criminals being put on the back foot.

    The ever growing list of reported crimes sickens me. The fact that the criminals are not brought to justice makes me angry!

  4. Excellent post by John L

    inter alia :-
    “How many other visitors to our National Parks, AONB’s, countryside and beauty spots are unaware of the illegal persecution of birds of prey, or other wildlife for that matter? How many of these people are aware of Operation Owl?
    This matters.”

    Yes, this does matter, and it matters a great deal that animal abuse atrocities are widely and effectively publicised when we are faced with such poor performance from governments, police and the criminal justice system.

    From time to time public attitudes have been convincingly altered by adverts with dramatic images and a few words.

    This type of publicity is appropriate because it targets animal cruelty and the perpetrators :-

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