A WILDLIFE rescue charity has warned people about the dangers of feeding red kites after a bird was nearly killed by raw, rotting chicken.

Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue, a Didcot charity that rescues and rehabilitates sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, said the bird suffered a serious gastrointestinal illness and only survived because it was able to cough some of the meat back up.

A spokesman for the organisation said: "The amount of harmful bacteria found in raw chicken is dangerous enough, let alone rotting raw chicken.

"This, could have killed him."

It warned: "Please be careful with what you feed and please don't allow these animals to become dependent on you.

"It's really not fair and certainly not what these animals should be doing."

The kite is now on the road to recovery, they said.

Last month, the Chilterns Conservation Board said it wanted to discourage people from feeding meat to the birds of prey. It said it had received complaints about scraps of meat dropping directly onto people's heads.
It also feared feeding would change the birds' behaviour and turn them into nuisances.

Red kites were re-introduced into the Chilterns in the '90s, after they were driven to near extinction after persecution by landowners.

The trust said that public opinion of the birds suffered after a two-year-old was scratched by a red kite that took his sandwich in 2019.

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