Watch moment trapped buzzard was released by officer in North Yorkshire

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Police have released footage showing the moment a trapped bird was released by an officer in Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police was called to an area in Ryedale after reports a buzzard was caught in a trap on March 26.

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Officers worked with staff at the RSPCA to free the bird of prey, which was later collected by Jean Thorpe, from theRyedale Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

Ms Thorpe cared for the buzzard until it was ready to be released.

And this week, PC Jeremy Walmsley, wildlife crime officer, released the buzzard back into the wild.

PC Walmsley said: “Wildlife investigations are a very important part of our work. I encourage any members of the public who have concerns for the welfare of wildlife or information about crimes that may have taken place to contact the police so we can take appropriate action.”

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the buzzard’s injuries is ongoing.

It comes as police have launched a new campaign called Operation Owl in North Yorkshire’s countryside, to crackdown on the number of illegal attacks on birds of prey in the county.

Sergeant Kevin Kelly, of the force’s Rural Taskforce, said: “The weather will soon start to improve and more people will head out to the countryside. If everyone keeps their eyes open for illegal traps and poisoned bait, it will be a massive boost to our surveillance operation.

“This is a real opportunity to reduce the number of wild birds that suffer and die unnecessarily, and send a clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate this crime in our countryside.”

Anyone with information about the buzzard or other wildlife concerns is asked to call police on 101.