July 4, 2016 / 5:15 PM / 3 years ago

Eagle that starred in British TV series killed by Mozambique hunters

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - A martial eagle from South Africa’s Kruger National Park that starred in the British wildlife series “Fierce” has been killed by subsistence hunters in Mozambique, researchers who helped tag the bird said in a statement on Monday.

The 4.6 kg (10 pound) bird made her television debut in June to highlight efforts by scientists looking to stem the decline of martial eagles, Africa’s largest eagle species.

“We detected that the bird was no longer moving about in a normal fashion,” said Rowen van Eeden, a researcher at the University of Cape Town.

Van Eeden and a colleague tracked the signal to a remote corner of Mozambique, more than 160 km (100 miles) away from where the bird had been tagged, and found it with its neck trapped in a snare probably used to catch small buck.

It was the third adult eagle out of eight fitted with GPS tags to die outside of Kruger since the start of the Martial Eagle research program three years ago.

Two died at the hands of hunters in Mozambique and a third was electrocuted flying into power lines in Swaziland.

Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Ed Stoddard

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