AN Ailing bird of prey has been released back into the wild after police worked with a rescue group to nurse it back to health.
The female kestrel was found by a dog walker on the marsh area of Hesketh Bank just before Christmas. The bird was in a poor condition due to the adverse weather conditions in the run up the festive period and had not been able to hunt properly.
It was initially taken in by a member of the public who had previous experience of dealing with raptors. Lancashire Constabulary’s wildlife crime officer, Mark Thomas, was then able to have the kestrel recovered by Cuerden Birds of Prey, a sanctuary involved in the conservation of native raptors and operate a rescue and rehabilitation service.
Richard Cookson, the owner of Cuerden Birds of Prey, said: “The wild bird had started to become dependent on the local man who found it due to lack of food and its low condition. We gave the bird a full check over and fed it up back to health.
“It was kept in a special isolation pen so it had no human contact during the few days we had it. Once I knew it was strong enough to be released, I contacted the force wildlife crime officer to let him know we were ready to put the kestrel back out to the wild.”
The kestrel was released on January 9 at a location on the Cuerden Valley estate.
Wildlife crime officer Mark Thomas said: “Getting the bird back out to the wild where it belongs was the priority for all involved. The bird was in good health on the release date and it was great to watch it fly off. In so many cases I have to deal with, animals have been deliberately injured by people and many do not survive, so it was fantastic to see it back in good health and taking to the skies.”