Thursday, 29. January 2015
05. 06. 14. - 16:00
Police are hunting a sadist who killed an entire family of eagles by poisoning them.
The four White-tailed sea eagles were found by a local ornithologist in Bechyne, a town in the south Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. The man had been hoping to photograph the birds when he made the discovery.
Spokesman for a nearby animal rescue centre, Pawel Krizek, 37, said: "The first eagle was found lying on the ground at the base of a tree.
"The other three, the female and two chicks, were found in their nest next to the leg of a pig.
"Tests found that it had been laced with the poison carbofuran," he said.
Carbofuran is a highly toxic pesticide, deadly to man and banned in many countries.
Police said they were investigating and have warned people to be on guard for discarded pieces of meat as they may contain the poison.
Farmers are opposed to the birds settling in the area, with the controversy centring on claims the eagles kill live lambs in large numbers.
But scientists say the birds are much more likely to feed on lambs which have already died on the hillside, providing a valuable cleaning up role, and that attacks on live lambs are comparatively rare.
During the period 1800-1970, White-tailed eagles in most of Europe underwent dramatic declines and became extinct in many regions in Europe although they did survive in Poland.
Since the 1980s however, the European White-tailed eagle population has recovered steadily, and is spreading causing some conflict in areas where they have nested near livestock farms.
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