Monday, 3 November 2014
GWCT concerned about missing gamekeepers
The young keepers all had satellite tags attached to them earlier this year by GWCT staff operating in the uplands of northern England. At the time of writing, only three of the nine keepers tagged are known to still be alive – of the remaining six keepers, two are known to have died of natural causes (believed in both cases to be overindulgence in Farmers Weekly, the Shooting Times, and NFU press releases). But of the remaining four keepers, there is no sign.
“Their disappearance is mysterious, to say the least,” remarked Arthur Balsam, spokesman for GWCT, “and at worst, is deeply suspicious. Had some natural mishap befallen them, their satellite tags should have continued to transmit the location of their remains.
“But they’ve gone completely off the radar. It’s almost as if someone has shot them and stuffed the satellite tag down a fox earth where, were it to be found, it would absolve the guilty party of all blame, and implicate the fox instead”.
The gamekeepers’ disappearance is particularly worrying for one species in particular, the highly endangered Hen Harrier, a species that to all intents and purposes stands on the brink of extinction as an English breeding bird.
“We’re really worried,” said Tom Logan, a Hen Harrier from the Pennines. “Without a viable population of gamekeepers, who will protect us from all the threats we face? From the rapacious foxes, those wicked badgers, and not to mention all those mysterious shotgun wielding louts who seem to delight in randomly shooting us?
“Thank goodness for the efforts of those committed custodians of biodiversity, the gamekeepers, is all I can say. I just hope these young missing keepers are okay after all.
“We’d like to hope that, against all the odds, they return to the moors to breed with one another again next year”.