THE search is on for the person who shot a native and protected Brahminy kite, resulting in the bird having to be euthanised at the weekend.
The female bird of prey was found near Hervey Bay's Eagles Nest Golf Course with a single bullet wound to the chest and was unable to fly.
After being assessed by Natalie Richardson, a member of Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast, the bird was sent down to the wildlife hospital at Australia Zoo, where it was later put to sleep as its injuries were too severe to fix.
"The biggest concern besides the cruelty is that (the shooting) was illegal," Ms Richardson said.
"She was native to Australia and all native species of fauna are protected - you need a specific permit to cull native animals like flying foxes or kangaroos.
"It was an air rifle that she was shot with, so she wasn't shattered to pieces but she must have had internal damage."
Ms Richardson believes if the bird was not found, it would have experienced a painful, terrifying death.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, police and the RSPCA have been informed.
- Brahminy kites eat carrion, insects and fish.
- They are found along the coastline of Australia's northern half.