An emergency trip to the vets had to be undertaken at the weekend after a poisoned Buzzard was found at Monkton Nature Reserve.
The bird of prey was discovered by Trustees advisor Dr Clive Nuttman on Sunday.
He said: “I was opening up the gates in the morning and it fluttered under a bush. There was a rat carcass close by so it was most likely a victim of poisoning.
Buzzards are mainly carrion feeders and the rat may have been picked up and carried some distance.
“I picked it up and put it in a box and after taking advice found the nearest rescue was in Ashford but was told vets are obliged to help so I took it to Pets at Home and they took it in. They can try to flush the poison through but if its condition is not favourable they may have had to euthanise.
“It was very sad to see it so stricken and disorientated.”
Dr Nuttman is urging people to use humane methods rather than poison to get rid of pests. At the nature reserve a humane trap that blasts C02, causing death without poison, is used.
He said: “There are alternatives to using poison bait to get rid of rats that will avoid this unfortunate situation. Poisons accumulate in birds of prey and other scavengers, leading to a distressing and painful death.”
Buzzards used to be only found in the north and west of the country due to severe population declines. Over the last couple of decades, however, it has been doing very well and can now be found almost everywhere in the UK.
Dr Nuttman said: “Buzzards have made a fantastic comeback in Kent and are now a regular sight in Thanet.”
In a separate incident, police are investigating after reports that a heron was shot in Cliffsend. The Wildlife Conservation in Thanet facebook page posted about the incident, saying the Grey Heron was shot and killed as it flew above farmland.
The heron is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with fines or prison sentences available for anyone killing or attempting to kill one.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police has received a report that a Heron was shot from the sky in Chalk Hill, Ramsgate at about 11am on Saturday 16 October 2021.
“Officers from the Rural Task Force are carrying out further enquiries with the informant.”