Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Red kite rescued after being shot

Red Kite recovers after being shot
The red kite is being cared for by the Scottish SPCA wildlife rescue centre

A red kite has been found shot and badly injured in Perthshire.

A dog walker rescued the bird on 2 December after seeing it flapping in a burn on the outskirts of Braco.

It was taken to Inglis Veterinary Centre, Dunfermline. X-rays revealed the bird had a broken wing and five shotgun pellets lodged in its body.

Argaty Red Kite Officer Michael McDonnell said the shooting was an "absolute disgrace". Tayside Police are appealing for information.

'Very distinctive'

Mr McDonnell, who looked after the bird before it was taken to the vets, said: "A red kite's appearance is so unique that it couldn't be mistaken for anything else, so it must have been a deliberate act.

''This bird was originally from the area, but was sent to Aberdeen as a chick as part of the re-introduction programme for the area. It is fair to say that this is not the ideal homecoming for the youngster - he is very lucky to be alive.''

Tayside Police Wildlife Crime Officer Alan Stewart said red kites were "very distinctive" with a large slim body and forked tail, and would be impossible to confuse with other birds.

He urged anyone with information about the shooting to contact Tayside Police.

The bird is now being looked after by the Scottish SPCA wildlife rescue centre.

It will be looked after there until a decision can be made on whether it makes a full enough recovery to be returned to the wild.

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