Police rescue injured falcon from road near Casabermeja

Officers believe the injuries which prevented the bird of prey from flying properly were caused by a high-voltage power cable

IRENE QUIRANTE

Police officers in Malaga have found an injured gyrfalcon on the MA-3404 road in the municipality of Casabermeja. It had trouble flying due to injuries which are believed to have been caused by a high-voltage power cable.

On Monday afternoon several drivers said that they had seen a large bird on the road. Once this was reported to Local Police and environment agents, the falcon was located and moved to the Centre for Recovery of Endangered Species in Malaga.

Once there, veterinarians examined the bird and gave it antibiotics to help its recovery. After the examination they informed the police that the injuries were most likely caused by a high-voltage cable.

The falcon had identification rings, which means it belongs to a breeder. However, no one had reported it missing. The birds are most commonly trained for falconry.

The gyrfalcon is a bird of prey and the largest falcon in the world, as well as one of the fastest. During its long flights it can reach speeds of 130 km/h. They weigh around 1.5 kg and have a wingspan of 120 cm. They can capture prey twice their own size.

The officers stated that these types of birds - or other protected animals - must have the proper CITES paperwork, an international agreement to ensure that trade in endangered species and fauna does not threaten their survival.