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Injured buzzard rescued from trap is released back into the wild

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Police have published a video showing the magical moment an injured bird of prey was released back into the wild by an officer.

On 26 March 2108, North Yorkshire Police received a report of concern for the welfare of a buzzard that had been caught in a trap in the Ryedale area.

Officers attended with colleagues from the RSPCA, and the buzzard was safely removed. It was later collected by Jean Thorpe of the Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, who cared for the buzzard until it was ready for release.

Two weeks later, North Yorkshire Police wildlife crime officer PC Jeremy Walmsley – who practised his bird of prey handling skills with Jean – was given the honour of releasing the buzzard back into the wild.

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce and specialist wildlife crime officers work closely with the RSPCA, RSPB and wildlife rehabilitators such as Jean to protect the county’s magnificent raptors and other wildlife.

PC Walmsley said: “Wildlife investigations are a very important part of our work. I encourage any members of the public who have concerns for the welfare of wildlife or information about crimes that may have taken place to contact the police so we can take appropriate action.”

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the buzzard’s injuries is ongoing.

Meanwhile, police are continuing to urge visitors to North Yorkshire’s countryside to get involved with Operation Owl – a new initiative to reduce the number of illegal attacks on birds of prey in the county.

Sergeant Kevin Kelly, of the force’s Rural Taskforce, said: “The weather will soon start to improve and more people will head out to the countryside. If everyone keeps their eyes open for illegal traps and poisoned bait, it will be a massive boost to our surveillance operation.

“This is a real opportunity to reduce the number of wild birds that suffer and die unnecessarily, and send a clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate this crime in our countryside.”

Report any incidents to North Yorkshire Police on 101. You can also contact the RSPB’s Raptor Crime Hotline on 0300 999 0101.

If you discover a trap and are not certain of its use, contact the police. Sergeant Kelly added: “Note the location, take a photo, and call the police on 101 to report it. Our wildlife officers will take it from there.”

Last modified: April 11, 2018