THE senseless shooting of a tawny frogmouth has upset and angered Rye Beach Veterinary Hospital staff.
The wounded juvenile was found on Old Melbourne Rd near the Rye football oval with a badly fractured and infected shoulder could not be helped and had to be euthanised.
X-rays revealed a lead pellet – probably fired from an air rifle.
“I was very upset to receive it as it was a lovely little bird,” said veterinarian Stacey Lethlean, who has treated injured native animals for the past 30 years.
The nocturnal raptor, which eats moths and small animals, is a well camouflaged predator. It is protected by law and Ms Lethlean will report the shooting to police.
“It was probably just a senseless thrill-kill,” she said. “Its wing was fractured and it had obviously been in a lot of pain.
“We only found the slug through x-rays, which makes me wonder whether other injured native animals brought in, but not x-rayed, have also been shot.”
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Leading Senior Constable Daniel Riddle at Rosebud police, on 5986 0444.