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Monday, 14 January 2013 (3034269)
Kestrel found injured in West Lancashire is released back into the wild
by David Simister

A KESTREL which was found injured near a West Lancashire village just before Christmas has been released back into the wild after being nursed back to health.

Lancashire Constabulary said they recovered the female bird of prey after she was discovered by a dog walker on marshland near Hesketh Bank, and after teaming up with specialists at Cuerden Birds of Prey were able to release the bird back into her natural habitat last week. Initially the bird had been taken in and tended to by a member of the public who had experience of handling birds of prey, who got in touch with the force's wildlife officers.

Richard Cookson, the owner of Cuerden Birds of Prey, said: “The wild bird had started to become dependent on the local man who found it due to lack of food and its low condition. We gave the bird a full check over and fed it up back to health.

”It was kept in a special isolation pen so it had no human contact during the few days we had it. Once I knew it was strong enough to be released, I contacted the force wildlife crime officer to let him know we were ready to put the kestrel back out to the wild.“

The bird, which had suffered a number of injuries due to the poor weather conditions last month, was released back into the wild at the Cuerden Valley estate, near Leyland.

Mark Thomas, wildlife crime officer at Lancashire Constabulary, said: ”Getting the bird back out to the wild where it belongs was the priority for all involved. The bird was in good health on the release date and it was great to watch it fly off.

“In so many cases I have to deal with, animals have been deliberately injured by people and many do not survive, so it was fantastic to see it back in good health and taking to the skies.”


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