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Three barn owls killed on 10m stretch of road

PUBLISHED: 14:52 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:04 22 November 2019

An owl injured by a motorist on the Acle Straight. Picture: Runham Wildlife Rescue.

An owl injured by a motorist on the Acle Straight. Picture: Runham Wildlife Rescue.

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A charity has warned motorists to slow down after three barn owls were killed in one week on the same stretch of road.

Three barn owls killed on the Acle Straight. Picture: Runham Wildlife Rescue.Three barn owls killed on the Acle Straight. Picture: Runham Wildlife Rescue.

Runham Wildlife Rescue, a non-profit organisation based in Great Yarmouth, takes in and cares for injured animals and birds.

And Kelly Birds, who works at the centre, said the past two weeks has seen a large number of animals killed on the roads.

Over nine days she found three dead barn owls on a ten-metre stretch of the Acle Straight.

Two of the birds had fractured skulls and the other had suffered a broken femur.

Kelly Birds works at Runham Wildlife Rescue in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Kelly Birds.Kelly Birds works at Runham Wildlife Rescue in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Kelly Birds.

Ms Birds said pheasant, wood pigeon and deer are the most common roadkill due to their "lack of road sense".

"But easily spotted flighted birds? They shouldn't be hit by cars because drivers should be able to avoid them," she said.

"It's hard to understand what's causing this," she added.

Ms Birds said she also saw a driver run over a heron.

"Herons are slow flyers. I saw it flying far ahead of the car but the driver didn't use the breaks," she said.

She has also seen this happen with seagulls.

"I had to stop a man in Great Yarmouth who slowly ran over two seagulls.

"Both were dragged under the car and I collected them for veterinary treatment," she said.

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Over the last four years, between 50 and 60 animals have been killed annually on roads in Great Yarmouth Borough.

Most of those were cats, at 106.

Motorists who notice an animal carcass obstructing a road can send a message to Norfolk County Council.

It is the responsibility of the county council to move any dangerous obstruction, including a dead animal, from a road.

If the dead animal is not posing any risk to road users then that would be a street cleaning matter and fall under the responsibility of the relevant city, borough or district council.

In cases where an animal has been badly injured on the road but not yet dead, Norfolk and Suffolk Police may send out a Humane Animal Dispatch (HAD) officer.

Last year the officers were called out on 53 occasions.

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