Baby swan shot dead in 'senseless' attack on golf course

An investigation has been launched to find the killer who shot dead a cygnet on in a “senseless” attack on a golf course.

Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 4:29 pm

The RSPCA has appealed for witnesses after the bloodied body of the cygnet was discovered in its nest on the Elemore Golf Course, on Elemore Lane just outside Easington Lane.

The charity was contacted by the woman who made the shocking discovery and took the bird’s remains home with her, with inspector Terri-Ann Fannon sent to collect the body.

The inspector said: “This poor cygnet is only around six weeks old and was sitting on its nest when it was targeted in this senseless attack.

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The cygnet was found dead in its nest on Elemore Golf Course, near Easington Lane. Image copyright Google Maps.

“A member of the public was extremely upset when she discovered the bird’s bloodied body laying on its nest on the smaller of two lakes at the golf course.

"She took the bird’s body home with her as well as the metal pellet from the airgun before calling us.”

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The animal welfare charity has now launched an investigation and is calling for any witnesses to come forward.

“It’s utterly disgraceful to shoot and kill this beautiful bird and I’d like to remind people that, as well as being cruel and completely unnecessary, it is also illegal,” added Inspector Fannon.

Swans are protected and it’s illegal to kill one.

Anyone caught deliberately trying to injure a wild bird, or kill or take it without a licence, can face up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The RSPCA is calling for better regulation of air weapons, with the charity inundated with hundreds of calls every year reporting air gun attacks on animals across England and Wales.

“Sadly, we see all too often the impact that these potentially deadly weapons can have on animals such as wild birds and cats,” the inspector added.

“That’s why we want to see stricter controls over airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying one.”

Anyone with any information about what may have happened to this cygnet is urged to contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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