Suspected eagle killing

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A young golden eagle tagged in Scotland last summer is thought to have been killed in the Pentlands, and its body dumped in the North Sea.

The eagle, named Fred, hatched at a nest site in the Scottish Borders in 2017, and was the offspring of the only breeding pair in the region. Named after the landowner’s grandson,Fred was satellite-tagged in June in a project involving TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham and Dr Ruth Tingay of Raptor Persecution UK, designed to follow the birds’ movements.

It was hoped that the protected raptor would go on to increase the vulnerable breeding population in the Borders, but it disappeared last month in highly suspicious circumstances in the Pentland Hills. Its tag suddenly and inexplicably stopped on January 21, only to resume transmissions three days later when the raptor’s GPS location was shown to be in the North Sea, ten miles offshore from St Andrews in Fife.