A RED kite has been found dead and police suspect it was poisoned.
A land owner contacted police after finding the bird in her field in Glaston.
Red kites were introduced back into the area in 1995 and are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. There are currently about 100 birds in the Rutland and Stamford area.
As carrion eaters they pick up dead animals at the side of the road or in fields and are often accidentally killed by poisons left for rodents or other animals.
In 2008 two birds were found dead in the same area.
Leicestershire police’s wildlife officer Neil Hughes said: “I am 99 per cent sure that this bird was poisoned because of the type of animal it is and the nature of its death.
“I need help from members of the public to determine whether any other animals in the area have been poisoned in a similar way, even cats and dogs.”
The red kites were introduced through a Forestry Commission programme. Visitor and promotions officer Chris Andrews said: “These wonderful birds do not cause any trouble but people still feel threatened by them because of their size. It is such a shame when one is found poisoned.”
To report any incidents call Neil on 0116 222 2222 and when prompted to leave a message for an officer key in 5248.