The shooting of a protected bird of prey on the Isle of Man is being investigated by police.

The sparrowhawk had wounds consistent with being shot by an air rifle, a spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture said.

The female bird was found injured in Ballure, Ramsey, on 12 August, but died shortly afterwards.

Manx Wild Bird Aid said staff were “horrified” by the “brutal” killing.

Sparrowhawks are one of the smallest birds of prey on the island and are protected under the Wildlife Act.

A spokesman said it was “particularly upsetting” that the bird had been subjected to “a lengthy period of unnecessary suffering”.

Anyone who injures or kills them could face a fine of up to £10,000.

Police have appealed for anyone with information about the bird’s death to come forward.

Source: bbc.com