Scotland’s famous young golden eagle named Fred went missing in January 2018. It had brown-gold feathers and hooked bird-of-prey beak, of bright lemon and black color. Many people were monitoring Fred near the Pentland Hills, which is not far from Edinburgh in Scotland.
How Fred went missing?
As per Ruth Tingay of the conservation group, Raptor Persecution UK watched and tracked Fred’s movements. Their trip to the Pentlands was the furthest they had ever traveled. Then after three or four days on 20 January 2018, their signal was blank. However, it returned four days later, somewhere in an extraordinary place. They found Fred in an area about 10 miles from the sea near St Andrews, which was quite far from Fred’s last signal. But it was never revealed how it ended up dying or who killed and dumped it at sea?
Speculations about Fred’s death
Now Fred being another disappearing golden eagle, it seemed to have met a suspicious end. There is no doubt that human interference played a primary role in its death. Indeed, raptors sometimes are killed by humans. Perpetrators are challenging to catch; however, Scotland Police is still investigating in this case. Scotland is the home to various raptor species, including golden eagles, the most iconic ones. With their population slowly lowering down in the south of Scotland, thus Fred was somehow the most important one. The signs of suspicious activity revealed when Raptor Persecution UK got in touch with the manufacturer tag Fred had. It was on it to record the GPS coordinates of the bird, which connects to the nearby mobile phone masts. Only the tag makers had access to its location.
Location of Fred
When they tracked it through its tag, the results were startling. During the period of Fred’s absence in late January, he traveled east along a road to the south of Edinburgh. It then went over to north to the Firth of Forth and, later, towards St Andrew’s. After this, the tag didn’t transmit any data after its last data points. It is still a mystery whether the tag is still attached to Fred to track its mysterious movements or the tag has sunk to the bottom of the sea.
Who is to blame?
Now Fred being one of the few breeding golden eagles in south Scotland, it was quite an important one. The strange movement of Fred was “absolutely undoubtedly” a result of human interference – Ian Thomson from the “Royal Society for the Protection of Birds” stated this fact. Possibly the people would never be able to find out what happened to Fred. Because of the increasing raptor killings in Scotland from the past few years, it was a doubt that the gamekeepers are after this condition.
Now the cases of gamekeepers killing raptors have increased; thus, their involvement in Fred’s death was quite doubtful. Still, the spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association stated that the boy had suspended six members from the past five years because of wildlife crime offenses. Thus, it is sure that they were not involved in this.
In recent years the group of Scottish Raptors has tagged around 150 birds that are now either missing or dead. While many want to harm magnificent birds of Scotland, there are plenty of others working as a shield to protect these creatures from all the threats. However, it is sad that even after working so hard, the count still decreases with time. There is still no evidence about the killing raptors or why these birds are missing.