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Poisoning fear as 24th sea eagle found dead

A SEA-EAGLE who earned fame last year has been found dead on a Kerry hillside.

The rare white-tailed eagle, known simply as Male Tag 3, was imported from Vikna in Norway in 2010 as part of a programme to reintroduce the breed to Ireland.

The young bird created headlines when it flew all the way from the south west of Ireland to Scotland last winter.

There are fears that the stunning bird of prey might have been poisoned as it was found close to where three other eagles were killed, due to poisoning, in early 2008.

Project leaders were gutted in recent days when a signal led their search for the eagle to a remote hillside at Glencar where the carcass was located after a search.

The remains were too decomposed to facilitate toxicology tests.

A total of 24 of the 100 birds reintroduced to Ireland since the project commenced in 2007 have now died.

White-tailed eagles were once widespread here but they died out after being trapped, shot and poisoned in the 1800s.

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