Escaped snowy owl found killed

SUFFOLK Constabulary have launched an investigation to find who killed Fetlar the snowy owl.The body of Fetlar was discovered close to the caravan site in Dunwich on Sunday morning.

SUFFOLK Constabulary have launched an investigation to find who killed Fetlar the snowy owl.

The body of Fetlar was discovered close to the caravan site in Dunwich on Sunday morning.

Staff from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Barns, near Stowmarket, have confirmed the bird was Fetlar and added it was shot at close range with an air weapon.

Pc Bryant said: "Someone knows something, and my gut reaction is this is kids. I can't believe one person went on an owl hunt.


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"Someone will know something, someone will have been bragging about it. "Everybody has been talking about it at Dunwich, Fetlar became a local celebrity and people are not happy Fetlar has been murdered."

Suffolk Constabulary spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said: "This is an emotive issue and that may help bring people forward. We are making various enquiries at the moment and are appealing for any information.

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"I can not confirm 100% yet, but we believe we are looking at criminal damage and with an air rifle being involved, there is the potential for those offences to be taken in to consideration as part of the criminal damage.''

Police believe that because Fetlar was raised in captivity her death is a criminal damage offence. Any criminal damage over £5,000 can go to crown court and carried a maximum ten-year jail sentence. This can be further aggravated by the use of a weapon.

Falconer Gary Butcher, who led attempts to capture the owl, said: "The problem is that at the moment we know of no witnesses. If someone comes forward we would even consider a private prosecution, whoever has done this needs to be dealt with for what they have done.

"Everyone is still in shock. If people do know anything we would like them to contact the police. Everyone is devastated here, we can't believe this has happened and have no idea why someone would do this. Fetlar would have not done anyone any harm, some low life must have done this.''

On March 26 when Fetlar, who resembles Hedwig from the Harry Potter movies, escaped on his first flight of the year.

The owl, which had a 4ft 6inch wing span, was being exercised by Mr Butcher when it flew off and land landed in a field across the A1120 that runs alongside the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

But before Mr Butcher could reach him, Fetlar was mobbed by rooks and took off in panic heading north. When the owl was later spotted on the Suffolk coast hopes were high that he would be recaptured safely.

Fetlar, who was hatched and hand-reared at the sanctuary, was a favourite with staff and visitors

Anyone with any information about Fetlar's death should call Pc Mark Bryant on 01986 835300 or crimetstoppers on freephone 0800 555111.

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