If anyone out there is thinking of killing me, please choose something quick.
Whilst at the RSPB I had very few death threats (far fewer than my boss – goes with the territory) but they were mostly because of our position on ruddy ducks. It is ironic, with the passage of time, that those who care passionately about animal rights are the ones most likely to threaten to kill you! But they clearly were more nasty than really life-threatening.
On another occasion, I gave a talk to a wind energy conference and a friend of mine in the audience told me that he was sitting behind two men who were listening to my talk and soon after I had pointed out that large numbers of recently discovered red-throated divers in the Thames Estuary might cause problems for windfarm development one man turned to the other and said ‘We ought to organise a car accident for this guy‘.
That was many years ago and I’m still here and the point of telling the story is that a bullet in the brain, a crashing blow with a blunt object or a high speed collision would all be preferable (though not in anyway welcome) to a slow lingering death by poison.
I have no idea whether a golden eagle’s or a red kite’s death from poisoning is as lingering and unpleasant as mine or yours would be but poison is the coward’s weapon. Today the RSPB release a report on the ongoing, unpleasant use of poisons to kill wildlife. It is often not known whether birds of prey are actually the intended targets for these poisons, though they probably often are, but they are the completely predictable victims.
The RSPB say ‘The RSPB Birdcrime 2010 report reveals there were 128 reports of illegal poisoning in the UK, and the early figures for this year suggest a similar pattern. In 2010, 20 red kites, 30 buzzards, two goshawks, eight peregrines, five golden eagles, one white-tailed eagle and one sparrowhawk were found poisoned in the UK. The RSPB believes that the number of recorded incidents is way below the actual number. ‘.
Not very nice at all. And it’ll probably be just the same next year, and the next, and the next….