Laurieston farmer stunned as injured red kite stolen in daring daytime raid
A red kite stolen from a farm in Laurieston is still missing despite calls for information on social networks.
The bird and a black box containing it were removed from Bellymack Farm in a daring daytime raid last Wednesday.
The raptor had collided in mid-air with another kite at the feeding station and was knocked unconscious.
Anne Johnstone, who runs the Bellymack Hill farm with her cousin Joyce Ryman, placed the injured bird in a secure shelter around 2 p.m. to allow it to recover.
But when she returned two hours later to let go, the kite and the box were gone.
“How far are people going? Ms. Johnstone told the News. “A bird that’s been knocked out in a box and someone comes in and takes off the red kite and the box?”
“I’m so upset – the RSPB trained me to take care of these birds.”
Ms Johnstone told the News that around 30 kites often fly for the feeding session where chunks of raw flesh are laid out on tables.
The sight of so many birds of prey diving for food has become a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike,
Ms Johnstone said: “The kite collided with another bird and was knocked out.
“He was on his back, pretending to be dead – he was stunned but not unconscious.
“When you pick up an injured kite like this, its head falls on its shoulder.”
Cutting of kites with identification rings stopped at Belymack in 2012 after raptors largely recovered locally.
Mrs. Johnstone has no idea why the bird was stolen or if it will ever return.
“I wouldn’t like to think he was mistaken for taxidermy work or that he was stolen for training.
“Maybe the people who took him got scared and just let him go somewhere.
“I hope that’s what happened – it’s a complete mystery.
“The police have been informed.