24 Jul, 2009 @ 15:44
1 min read

Eagles poisoned

A FAMILY of four rare eagles has been poisoned in Donana National Park.

A Spanish Imperial Eagle and her two chicks were found dead in the town of Aznalcazar, Sevilla on July 4.

Her mate is also likely to have been killed.

Questions surround the motive behind the crime, with suspicions over a possible link between the death of the birds and the recent refusal of an application to convert the use of a piece of land.


The eagles’ nest was sited in an area suitable for farming, yet protected as part of Donana National Park and home to this rare species.

The Andalucia Bird Society released a statement expressing its outrage: “We feel numbed by the mentality of this kind of subhuman behaviour. If caught the person should face an extremely hefty fine or even a jail term.”

Worries meanwhile remain over the male eagle, who has not yet been sighted, leading many to fear that he may also have been killed.

Investigations into the crime revealed poison had been hidden in a rabbit that was later smuggled into the enclosed feeding area used by the team responsible for the eagles’ well-being.

The deaths of the three birds come as a blow to the species, with only 250 pairs remaining across the globe.
Peter Jones, biologist and wildlife guide, said: “The most disgusting aspect of the crime is that the pair of birds poisoned was the most sexually productive in the park and was vital for the future of the species’ survival.

“Crimes of this nature are very difficult to prove.

“It is unfortunate that the round-the-clock surveillance of the site had recently stopped, allowing someone to gain access to the site,” he added.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. How sad that even a subhuman can sink to such a level to poison these rare and beautiful creatures.
    Sadly revenge in Spain often comes through poisoning pets,in my village many people are frightened of speaking up about animal cruelty or other issues for fear of their pets being killed and there are countryside areas that are too dangerous to let dogs run because hunters put poison down to kill dogs in the belief that they take their prey.
    For me the big issue is how do they get hold of the poison,it certainly cannot be obtained easily or legally in U.K. or I would imagine in most of the E.U. without poison these sick people would have to be more open and less cowardly about their actions.

  2. I am worried about the dog poisoning in andalucia and am trying to work out an emergency remedy. ANy ideas out there? ANyone know what type of poison the hunters use and what can be done before the dog gets to the vet?

  3. This has also happened in Ireland too.
    A few years back about 14 golden eagle pairs were re-introduced onto the island after a century of extinction.
    two pairs have been found poisoned so far.
    Whether it was deliberate or accidental remains to be seen.
    Personally I cannot see any farmer believing that the odd lost lamb to eagles constitues an economic threat.
    Maybe they ate poisened foxes or other small predators and thus induced the poison too but I think its part and parcel of the re-introction experiment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Jamie Oliver feeds the 500

Next Story

Third of Europe’s unemployed in Spain

Latest from Environment

Go toTop