Police hunt thieves after peregrine falcon is stolen from nesting site in Rotherham

Image provided by the RSPB
Image provided by the RSPB
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This suspect is being hunted by police following the theft of a baby peregrine falcon from a nest in South Yorkshire.

The young bird of prey was stolen from a nesting site in Anston, near Sheffield.

Image provided by the RSPB

Image provided by the RSPB

CCTV footage captured by a secret camera installed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds revealed the falcon was taken from the nest on Friday, May 8 – but details have only just been released to the public.

Peregrine falcons are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

A joint investigation is being carried out by South Yorkshire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit, and the RSPB is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Chf Insp Martin Sims, head of the NWCU, said: “The illegal trade in birds of prey is a UK Wildlife Crime priority and we continue to gather intelligence about those who make money by targeting wild birds and attempting to pass them off as legally captive bred birds.

“Trading illegally in species such as peregrine falcons carries up to five years imprisonment. We will target anybody who targets wild birds.”

Chf Supt David Hartley, South Yorkshire Police’s lead officer for wildlife crime, said: “Peregrine falcons are an iconic part of our countryside and this crime sees a premeditated exploitation of this for criminal profit.

“South Yorkshire Police has a highly trained team of wildlife crime officers and they have been dedicated to this investigation, supported by the National Wildlife Crime Unit.”

n Anyone with information should call the National Wildlife Crime Unit on 01506 833722, South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.