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VIDEO: Estate claim footage proves eagle is still alive as row rumbles on

A north-east estate, embroiled in a bitter row with RSPB Scotland about the alleged disappearance of a golden eagle, have released more footage and photographs which they claim proves the bird is still alive.

The bird of prey, which is under one year old, went missing at the North Glenbuchat Estate near Strathdon.

It had been satellite tagged by the Scottish Raptor Study Group, but stopped collecting data between March 5 and 6.

This led to the launch of a police and RSPB Scotland investigation.

The eagle, known as “bird 338”, was initially presumed dead, but the estate believes the bird’s tag had stopped working and released footage of what they believe to be bird 338 on Friday.

They subsequently issued more footage and photographs over the weekend of what they think is the same eagle.

Laura Sorrentino, director of the estate, said: “Our head keeper filmed what he believed was the ‘missing’ eagle on Thursday and further footage was filmed on Saturday afternoon and photographs were taken on Saturday evening.

“Due to the light and distance between the bird and the keeper, we cannot be as certain that the Saturday afternoon footage is the same eagle, but the head keeper is more confident that the later photographs could be the 338-tagged bird.

“We have submitted both to police and what this does show is that eagles not only exist on our estate, but they are welcome.

“The RSPB allegations against the estate have been reckless and defamatory and the matter is in the hands of our lawyers.

“They seem to accuse first and think later without caring about the damage it does.”

An RSPB Scotland spokesman was pleased more information has been submitted and dismissed any suggestion the charity had accused the estate of being responsible for the eagle’s disappearance.

He stated: “What we said was intended as an appeal for information to motivate and prompt people to come forward with information.

“They (the estate) have come forward and submitted information to the police and that is to be welcomed.

“It’s important to remember that no business, no estate, no individual has been accused of anything.

“All we have done is put out the fact that a bird has gone missing and put out the history of disappearances of birds in that particular area.”

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