An investigation has been launched after a bird of prey was found on a golf course after being shot.
The Scottish SPCA were alerted to the incident after a sparrowhawk was discovered on Lochwinnoch Golf Course on April 5.
Initially the animal charity thought that the bird had been stunned, but upon further examination determined it had been shot.
The incident caused a catastrophic shoulder injury to the bird, which has an amber conservation status, and it was put to sleep as a result.
The incident comes days after another member of the public reported to the Scottish SPCA that they had found a sparrowhawk bleeding from the wing, which died before help could be called for.
The Scottish SPCA said the two incidents were “very suspicious” and suggested they may be linked.
The charity is now working with Police Scotland to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident, and is asking anyone with information to come forward.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said: “It was initially thought that the bird had been stunned but upon examination at the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, it was discovered that they had been shot.
“This caused a catastrophic shoulder injury and sadly resulted in the bird having to be put to sleep.
“Another member of the public also reported finding another sparrowhawk the week before, which was bleeding from the wing. Unfortunately, that bird died before help could be called for.
“It is unknown if they had also been shot but it’s certainly very suspicious that two sparrowhawks with similar injuries were found in the same area only a week apart.
“We are working closely with Police Scotland to establish the circumstances around the bird’s injuries due to the use of a firearm in the incident.
“We would like to find out what happened to this sparrowhawk. If anyone witnessed anything or has any information they feel may be relevant they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999 or Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number KB01540722 of April 5 2022.”
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