A GOLDEN eagle which has gone missing from the region is believed to have come to harm, the police said today,
And the disappearance of Merrick have caused shock, sadness and disappointment.
She was translocated to the area last year and by the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project team and their recent round-the-clock surveillance showed that Merrick was thriving and exploring all over south of Scotland and Northern England – until mid October.
Project chair Michael Clarke, a farmer from Brydekirk, said: “The disappearance of any golden eagle is extremely upsetting, but particularly when there is evidence to suggest that they have come to harm under suspicious circumstances. The project’s translocated eagles have captured the hearts and minds of many people, including children, who will all share in our utter shock, disappointment and sadness at the nature of Merrick’s disappearance.”
Offering an update on the case, Detective Sergeant David Lynn, Police Scotland wildlife crime coordinator, said: “Since the report was made, officers have been working with a range of partner agencies to establish more details and gather further information to establish the circumstances.
“The bird was last seen in the area to the west of Fountainhall, between Heriot and Stow on Thursday, 12 October. A full search of this area was carried out and officers believe the bird has come to harm and are treating its disappearance as suspicious.
“We are determined to protect these magnificent birds. We work closely with a number of partners to tackle wildlife crime, which can be challenging and complex to investigate. As our enquiry continues I would urge anyone with any information that may assist to contact us through 101 quoting reference number 1193 of 18 October. Alternatively, please contact Crimestoppers though 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”