Red Kite shot near Cotswolds shooting estate

A Red Kite (a fully protected species of course) was shot close to the village of Salperton in the Cotswolds, about eight miles east of Cheltenham, on March 12th.

Who would want to shoot a Red Kite? There are few details at the moment, but interestingly the local police released a tweet (see above) with two hashtags that presumably suggest where their thoughts lie: farming and shooting.

Talking of the shooting industry, anyone living locally will have had bells rung by the mention of Salperton. Yes, it is a village near Cheltenham, but it’s also the location of Salperton Park, and if you Google ‘pheasant shoot salperton‘ – well, suddenly a possible connection between pheasants and blasting down a Red Kite (which will possibly have been scouting out a nesting territory in March when the shooting took place) emerges…

Now, before we’re hauled off to court, we’d like to say that of course there is no evidence this had anything to do with a shooting estate and there may be any number of disturbed people walking around Salperton with a shotgun and any one of them could have targetted a Red Kite (they’re big, slow-moving birds so not exactly hard to gun down) and the fact that a major shoot is located in the area could just be coincidence…

Hopefully Gloucestershire Police can sort this out before the good name of the shooting industry is disparaged any further – or can at the very least take an armed villager off the streets…