A dog walker has spoken of her “traumatic evening” after discovering a buzzard which had been illegal shot at a Horsham woods.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she found the injured bird at about 5pm in Rowhook on Tuesday (March 7).
She said: “I heard a shot which seemed quite close. Ten minutes later my dogs were sniffing around the base of a tree and wouldn’t come away from it.
“As I approached I could see what I thought was a dead pheasant. To my astonishment whatever it was moved and it wasn’t a pheasant but a buzzard.”
She wrapped the animal in her jumper and took it home before calling Rangers Lodge Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Colgate.
“I ended up taking it there but there was no hope, it could not be fixed so I had to take it to the vets to be put down,” she added.
Vets at Seers Croft Veterinary Surgery, where the bird was put down, confirmed it had been shot.
The RSPB condemned the ‘illegal killing’ and offered an £1,000 reward for information.
A spokesman said: “Buzzards are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it a criminal offence to kill or injure them.
“The RSPB is offering a £1000 reward for any information regarding the illegal killing which leads to a successful conviction.
“People can call police on 101, or call the RSPB investigations team via our switch board on 01767680551.”
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