Police Investigate After Red Kite Found Shot Near Newry

Red Kite Put To Sleep After Vet Tries To Save It After Shooting

Police are investigating and issuing an appeal for information after a Red Kite, a bird of prey, was found injured in the vicinity of Cullion Road in Newry, on Saturday, 20th April 2024.

The bird was later taken to a local veterinary clinic for treatment at the time, but, a police spokesperson said: “We are sad to report, due to its injuries being consistent with being shot, it had to be put to sleep.

Following an X-ray on the 22nd April, and later confirmation from Agri-Food and Biosciences (AFBI), it became evident in the X-Ray that the bird had been shot, as pellets were embedded in its wing and neck, including a fracture to its humerus.

Red Kite in flight over County Down, Northern Ireland. These raptors eat carrion mostly and don’t forage live animals as a rule. One recentlt was shot near Newry and later was put to sleep as its injuries were so severe.

A police spokesperson said: “The Red Kite is a large, protected bird of prey, re-introduced to Northern Ireland in 2008 and is a truly beautiful raptor with distinctive markings, recognised by its fork tail.

“This Red Kite, also nicknamed ‘Vivienne’ due to its identifying wing-tags brown-pink 6V, was well-known in the area and throughout the Mournes since it was born here back in 2018.

“At this time, we are asking for information from the public due to offences falling under the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (NI) 2011.

“Police take all wildlife crime very seriously and are appealing to anyone who has information about what may have happened to this protected bird to call us on 101, quoting reference number 1229 22/04/24.

“If you are aware of anyone in the area intent on harming birds of prey please contact police.”

You can also make a report via:


or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

or online at: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.