APEX PREDATOR: A rescued wedge-tailed eagle. PHOTO: KEVIN FARMER
APEX PREDATOR: A rescued wedge-tailed eagle. PHOTO: KEVIN FARMER

Seeking answers on injured wedge-tailed eagle

WE'RE used to seeing wedge-tailed eagles soar above the horizon in the Clarence Valley, not taking their last painful breath on an operating table.

But this was the scene volunteers from the WIRES and staff at the Grafton Veterinary Clinic were faced with after one of the iconic apex predators was found shot near Seelands on August 20.

The juvenile wedge-tailed eagle was found on the ground at a bus-stop on the Summerland Way by a woman driving her child to school.

It was taken to the Grafton Vet Clinic where two bullet wounds were found, one on the bird's right shoulder and the other in the bird's ribs.

Despite the best efforts of all involved, maggots had laid eggs deep inside the wound and the bird was euthanised to avoid a painful death.

National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman Lawrence Orel said he hoped the community would come forward with enough information to identify the person who shot the bird.

"It is a real shame when people are doing this to wildlife which is special to most people," Mr Orel said.

He said in cases like this one, information from the community was essential in building a case.

In some circumstances primary producers are issued with permits to shoot the birds if they are deemed to be interfering with commercial activity by killing livestock.

But Mr Orel said no such permits had been issued locally.

He said people with information can contact NPWS on 6641 1500 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

If you find an injured animal contact WIRES on 13000 WIRES.



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