Police probe threat to killed raptors with “armed drone”

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POLICE are investigating a bizarre threat to use an “armed” drone to kill rare birds of prey at a falconry centre.

An anonymous caller told staff he would use a shotgun to kill their raptors and deal with any birds beyond range using the drone.

The caller claimed raptors at the centre in Fife were killing rabbits and birds in the vicinity of his home.

Saker Falcon, called Dave, at Elite Falconry

Elite Falconry posted: “His call was very specifically made to threaten and intimidate.

“In short, he warned that were any of our birds to fly near his property, he would shoot them with a shotgun, and if he saw them nearby, he claimed to have a drone that he would arm, and use that to kill, our birds.

“His justification was that our birds would ‘come and kill all the wee rabbits and birdies around his house’.

“We have reported the incident to the Police who are now investigating seriously considering the threat to use firearms.

The falconry has over 50 birds of prey in its care, including eagles, owls and hawks. Last year, the centre bred a Verreaux eagle, for only the second time in the UK.

Manager Barry Blyther said: “It’s quite worrying to have someone threatening to discharge a firearm.

“My initial reaction was despondency and disappointment that we are still living in an age of such ignorance around birds of prey.

“What if this man’s neighbour has a cat that catches a bird in his garden, is he going to shoot it too?

“We’ve been here for over 16 years and in that time there has been only two cases in which our birds have caught something they shouldn’t have.”

He added: “We ask that should anyone have any information about who this person may be, that they inform the Police without delay.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Fife are investigating following reports of threats made to local falconry business in Glenrothes.

“Enquires are ongoing in relation to this.”

 
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