Golden eagle killed by banned poison
A golden eagle has been found dead, killed by an illegal poison in what conservationists are calling a “disgusting” and “reckless” act.
The bird of prey was found last month outside the village of |Killeter in Co Tyrone.
The eagle appeared to have recently eaten, with its crop — a pouch in its esophagus where it can store food — partially full.
A post-mortem examination revealed it was poisoned by carbofuran, a pesticide which has been banned in the UK since 2001.
Dr James Robinson, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds NI, said: “Words cannot express our disgust at this terrible and careless act.
“The use of this poison is illegal and this method of baiting is indiscriminate and banned — whoever left this out was acting outside the law.
“The police are investigating this, and we hope they will get to the bottom of it.”
The bird had been released in the Republic as part of a project to reintroduce them into the wild.
It had been collected as a chick from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland and released in Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal in August by the Golden Eagle Trust.
The bird’s transmitter showed it had been in the Killeter Forest area since mid-October. Lorcan O’Toole, Golden Eagle project manager, said it was “a great shame” and there was “no justification” for using such poisons.
“It seems so pointless and reckless,” he said.
The DUP’s Jim Wells, who is chairman of the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group, branded it |a “major incidence of bird of |prey persecution”.
He said the poison had probably been intended for a fox, but the “indiscriminate way it was laid down” had not only killed an eagle but could have put children and other animals at risk.
The South Down assembly member said people needed to be more careful with how they distribute poisons, and also to make sure the substances they’re using are not illegal.
The PSNI is investigating the poisoning, and asked anyone with information to contact their local station on 0845 600 8000.
If people find a bird of prey, or any other animal they think may have been poisoned, they are advised not to handle the carcass as many poisons can be dangerous to humans.