The RSPCA is appealing for tighter controls on air weapons after a sparrowhawk was put to sleep due to being shot by an air rifle in Scunthorpe.
The bird was found lying on its back with its wings out after flying out of woods near Darnholme Crescent on Wednesday, before crashing into a car because of its injuries from the gunshot.
A passer-by spotted the bird of prey and contacted the RSPCA who brought it in for treatment.
The decision was made to put the sparrowhawk down as a result of its injuries, with the bird’s chest and wing damaged beyond repair and rehabilitation being impossible.
RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell, investigating the case, said: “This poor sparrowhawk was in a very bad way after being shot and after further assessment, very sadly the decision was made to put the bird to sleep to end its suffering.
“It is likely that the bird was shot with an air gun while in flight, and it is very concerning that somebody in the area was taking shots at wildlife in this way.
“Whilst there are some shooting practices which are legal, it is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act to intentionally injure, kill or take a wild bird, except under licence.
“Anyone found guilty could face an unlimited fine and/or six months imprisonment.”
The animal welfare charity are now appealing for information about the incident, asking anyone who can help resolve this incident to call 0300 1238018.