Published: 19:08, 12 April 2018
| Updated: 19:24, 12 April 2018
Two people who took an injured barn owl to a rescue sanctuary after it had been shot are urged to contact police.
The wild animal was handed in to a rescue centre in Leysdown around 7.30pm last Tuesday by a man and a woman who reported finding it injured.
The bird had been shot through the chest with what was believed to be an air weapon and died the following day.
Officers would like to talk to the man and woman who found the bird as they believe they may have information which may assist them.
Police Sergeant Darren Walshaw of the Rural Task Force said: "Injuring any animal on purpose is a despicable crime and one that we will not take lightly.
"We work hard to ensure our rural communities are free of crime and feel safe and that as well as people, this includes the welfare of both domestic and wild animal.
"After surviving through the winter, this young owl suffered an awful injury at the hands of a person and would have been in a lot of pain.
"We do not want to see another animal injured and I would encourage anyone who knows anything about this incident to get in touch with us."
The man and woman are both described as white and aged in their 20s. The man was believed to be wearing a hooded top.
Anyone with information about the incident or who believes they know the people who took the bird to the sanctuary is asked to call Kent Police appeals line on 01795 419119, quoting reference 11-0844, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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