Peregrine falcon found dead near Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’ Downing Street home

Police are investigating after a peregrine falcon was found dead with a ‘blood spot’ on its body near Boris Johnson‘s Downing Street home.

The incident, in Whitehall, London, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s wildlife crime unit as wild birds are protected by law in the UK.

The bird of prey was found with a ‘blood spot’ on its abdomen, leading some to believe it may have been shot down.

It was found close to the home of the Prime Minister and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, who works for wildlife conservation charity Aspinall Foundation.

Westminster Police said the protected bird was found dead last Friday. 

Police are investigating after a peregrine falcon was found dead with a 'blood spot' on its body near Boris Johnson's Downing Street home. Pictured: Stock image

Police are investigating after a peregrine falcon was found dead with a 'blood spot' on its body near Boris Johnson's Downing Street home. Pictured: Stock image

Police are investigating after a peregrine falcon was found dead with a ‘blood spot’ on its body near Boris Johnson’s Downing Street home. Pictured: Stock image

The incident, in Whitehall, London, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police's wildlife crime unit as wild birds are protected by law in the UK. Pictured: Stock image

The incident, in Whitehall, London, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police's wildlife crime unit as wild birds are protected by law in the UK. Pictured: Stock image

The incident, in Whitehall, London, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s wildlife crime unit as wild birds are protected by law in the UK. Pictured: Stock image

The fastest on Earth: Peregrine falcons dive up to 200mph to ambush their prey 

Peregrine falcons are officially the fastest animal on Earth.

They are able to reach speeds of up to 200mph when diving from a height, ambushing their prey in mid-air collisions.  

The birds tend to nest on mountains and moors, but are often found on the spires of cathedrals, churches and modern high-rise architecture.

There are some 30 pairs of peregrines across London, including on or above the Tate Modern Battersea Power Station and the Houses of Parliament.

It is estimated 1,500 breeding pairs are currently living in the UK.

Peregrines dwindled in numbers in the 1960s due to human persecution and the impact of pesticides in the food chain.

However, improved laws and protection means they have now grown in numbers and live in urban areas.       

All wild birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 

A wild bird is defined as any which is resident or is a visitor to, in this case, the UK.  

Penalties for criminal offences against a single wild bird, nest or egg range from up to six months in prison or an unlimited fine or both. 

Source: London Wildlife Trust 

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A spokesman added: ‘A dead peregrine was found at Whitehall with a blood spot on its abdomen.’ 

Royal Parks conservation officer Tony Duckett suggested the bird may have been shot with an air rifle.

He said: ‘That’s sickening.

‘It’s too easy for those with a grievance against Peregrine’s to get their hands on top of the range air rifle, and nobody would hear it.’

It comes after another peregrine falcon was found dead in Wigston, Leicestershire, after it was shot with an air rifle last month.

The birds, which are protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, are the fastest animal on Earth and are able to reach speeds of up to 200mph on dives.

It is estimated there are 1,500 breeding pairs in the UK at present.  

The RSPCA said the bird in Leicestershire was found after it flew into the window of a house on April 19. It was taken to an assessment centre in Nantwich but later died.    

Philip Kingsley-Elton told the BBC he was working with his father David when they heard a ‘loud bang’ and rushed outside.

They found the bird dazed and with a bloody shoulder and contacted a vet.

He said: ‘We live close to Knighton Park and so we are lucky to be able to see all kinds of wild birds, although we had not seen a peregrine falcon here before.

 ‘It’s just very sad this has happened to such a beautiful bird.’

The bird was taken to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre where an X-ray showed a lead pellet was stuck in its right wing. Its left wing was also fractured.

RSPCA inspector Sally Kearns said: ‘We suspect the bird had been shot some time prior to flying into the caller’s window as the wounds described by the vet are not very fresh.

‘This means we have no idea where or when the shooting took place, and are therefore appealing to anyone who has any information.’  

It died shortly afterwards. 

All wild birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 

A wild bird is defined as any which is resident or is a visitor to, in this case, the UK. 

It comes after another peregrine falcon (above) was found dead in Wigston, Leicestershire, after it was shot with an air rifle last month

It comes after another peregrine falcon (above) was found dead in Wigston, Leicestershire, after it was shot with an air rifle last month

It comes after another peregrine falcon (above) was found dead in Wigston, Leicestershire, after it was shot with an air rifle last month

The bird was taken to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre where an X-ray showed a lead pellet was stuck in its right wing. Its left wing was also fractured

The bird was taken to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre where an X-ray showed a lead pellet was stuck in its right wing. Its left wing was also fractured

The bird was taken to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre where an X-ray showed a lead pellet was stuck in its right wing. Its left wing was also fractured

Birds bred to be shot for sport – known as game birds – are not included in this definition.

Game birds are covered by the Game Acts, which means they are also fully protected outside of shooting season.

Penalties for criminal offences against a single wild bird, nest or egg range from up to six months in prison or an unlimited fine or both.      

Link hienalouca.com

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