The unfortunate bird was found nine days after the shooting, but couldn’t be saved and had to be euthanized. The RSPB confirmed the buzzard was found with “four pieces of shot lodged in its wing, shoulder and leg.”

They added: “The injury to the wing, which had caused the break, was consistent with the timing of the recent witnessed shooting.”

The other three pellets that were found appeared to be older which hinted the bird had also been shot on an earlier occasion.

One of the witnesses, who was out for a walk with their family at the reserve, described the incident as a “horrific waste”. They said: “Northwood is a really special place for my family. We had just lost a loved one, so my dad suggested we take a walk to clear our heads. “We were watching a buzzard flying together with another bird of prey, and I quickly got my phone out and started filming it. It was a beautiful sight. “Then suddenly we heard a crack and the buzzard crumpled and fell to the ground. It was a feeling of utter shock; we couldn’t believe what we’d just seen. “My sister was in floods of tears, we were just so shaken. It was not what we’d envisaged for our walk together. “One moment we were watching something so alive, then the next a human had needlessly and senselessly taken it away – it felt like such a horrific waste.”

Source: Kent Live

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