CONCERN is mounting for a missing falcon, which disappeared at the weekend and could starve to death if not found soon.
White Falconry, the owners of the African lanner falcon, said the bird went missing on Saturday (May 19) and they fear it may have been stolen or killed.
They have appealed for its urgent return and offered a £100 reward for information that helps them recover the 14-year-old falcon, called Half Pint.
There have been no sightings of the bird since it flew off during a demonstration. Days later a tracking device fitted to Half Pint was discovered discarded in a bush several miles away on the outskirts of Combley Great Wood, Havenstreet.
White Falconry owner Steven Hain said: "He was a rescue bird and we have only had him for about six months. He was in a very bad way at first. He needs special care and a high protein diet, and he isn't strong enough to look after himself.
"He could starve by the end of the week so we need to find him as a matter of urgency.
"We suspect foul play because there is no way the tracking device could have fallen off or been pulled off by the bird. The only explanation is that someone cut it off deliberately.
"The bird is legally registered and it's a criminal offence to sell it or keep it without the proper paperwork."
The falcon is described as slightly smaller than a pigeon, with pale, speckled feathers on its breast, blue markings on its back and distinctive orange markings on its head.
It is worth around £350.
*Mr Hain appealed for people not to try to feed Half Pint, due to the bird's specialist dietary requirements, but to get in touch with him as soon as possible.
The police and RSPCA have been alerted, and anyone who spots the falcon is asked to call White Falconry on 07989 986096.