Yobs kill swan at Telford lake
A swan has been found dead at a Telford nature spot after a "sickening" attack by yobs.
The young male bird was discovered with a neck injury which is believed to have been caused when it struck by a catapult type weapon.
It was spotted at Holmer Lake, in Priorslee, at about 6pm on Saturday by a stunned dog walker who was then reported it to the lake's friends' group.
Now a police appeal has been launched to find the culprits.
Friends' of Holmer Lake chairman Connor Furnival said: "This was a sickening act and very cruel. The thing that strikes me is the cowardly way they have gone about it.
"My understanding is that swans are very strong and would try to defend themselves if they feel under threat.
"Whoever is responsible for this was at the side of the lake where the bird couldn't reach them. It was a young untagged male."
"He was discovered by one of our volunteers who was a regular dog walker. she got in touch to say that she had seen a dead swan. Myself and two other volunteers went to the site to take a look.
"We reported to the police and the RSPCA.
"When the RSPCA came they thought it may have been a catapult because there was signs of an entry wound, but no exit wound. They have confirmed that there was no need for an autopsy, but they carry out an X-ray which should show what the issue was.
"This is the fourth swan death we have seen here in as many years, caused by varying reasons.
"It's been incredibly distressing for ourselves. We've had enormous support from the Holmer Lake community."
The Friends were meeting at 5.30pm today at The Sambrook Centre, Grange Avenue, Stirchley, to discuss the issue.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We are investigating after a swan was shot at Holmer Lake. The dead bird was found by a member of the public at about 10pm on Saturday.
“An X-ray of the swan will be taken to ascertain what caused the wound. Police are also aware of the incident.
“We are asking for anyone with information as to who is responsible or anyone who saw anything suspicious to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.
“All wild birds, including swans, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take them except under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting crime reference number 0641S080619. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org