A juvenile White-tailed eagle has been found shot dead in Co Tipperary, near where the bird – one of the first bred in Ireland in 100 years – was born last year in Mountshannon, Co Clare. Its short life – a mere seven months since flying the nest – was cruelly cut short by a wildlife criminal.
For more on this story see the following media reports.
- Very rare, juvenile White-tailed eagle found riddled with shotgun pellets
- Rare eagle found shot dead in County Tipperary
- One of only two Irish-bred white-tailed eagles shot and killed
The beautiful bird (called Sea Eagle) was found riddled with approximately 45 – 50 shotgun pellets, and had been severely injured for weeks before it died.
An x-ray of the male white-tailed eagle showed its body holding between 45-50 shotgun pellets. A post-mortem examination showed the impact broke one of the bird’s legs and wings, but it managed to survive several weeks before dying.
The bird was one of two young, reared by a mating pair at a nest on Lough Derg in County Clare. A lot of careful planning and integration went into the introduction of the bird of prey to this country and the killing has shocked and saddened those involved. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan has described the finding as a “shocking crime”.
However, the Irish Wildlife Trust have said “But what will actually be done with this information once given over? To date there has been no prosecutions for the previous shooting and poisoning of golden eagle, white tailed eagle, red kite, buzzard and hen harrier. Unless the authorities and the courts take wildlife crime seriously and dish out large fines, prison sentences, suspend fire arm licenses etc.. then I’m afraid Jimmy is wasting his time with his hollow words and crocodile tears“.
We are very disappointed here at ECOFACT and hope that this project can continue despite this terrible and saddening setback.