The Scottish SPCA [SSPCA] have launched an investigation after a sparrowhawk was found shot at Lochwinnoch Golf Course.

Sparrowhawks are small birds of prey and are adapted for hunting birds in confined spaces like dense woodland and gardens are ideal hunting grounds.

The bird was put to sleep after the charity found the wound had caused a “catastrophic shoulder injury”.

The incident happened on Lochwinnoch Golf Course on 5th April 2022 and SSPCA are appealing for witnesses.

The week before, a member of the public reported finding another Sparrowhawk bleeding from the wing but it died before the SSPCA could help.

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 5 April 2022.”

Headline image: the SSPCA have released an X-ray image of damaged caused to the sparrowhawk found in Lochwinnoch in April
Photo Credit: Scottish SPCA

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