£1,000 reward: RSPCA investigate after swan shot dead in the head in Sunderland’s Herrington Country Park

The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a male swan was shot dead in a Sunderland park last week. 
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The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a swan was shot dead in the head in a Sunderland park in what has been described as a ‘heartbreaking’ incident. According to volunteers at PawsForThought, the male bird was found seriously injured at Herrington Country Park - where it had lived for 10 years - last Tuesday.

Named ZAA, the swan was attacked and shot in the head and face “multiple times” and lost his life later that day at the vets because his injuries were “too severe”. A reward of £1,000 has also been offered for anyone with information that leads to a successful prosecution. 

The group said in a Facebook post: “We are howling at the moon at this latest atrocity and we want this swan’s death to become the death that brings changes to the way that wildlife crime is treated.

“Someone knows who did this, do the right thing and offer up the information and parents, if your children are in possession of catapults and airguns, please destroy them. Who would give their children weapons to walk the streets and parks with?”

Animal charity RSPCA said: “This is a really heartbreaking incident and we are investigating. The injuries suffered were truly awful and would have caused the swan to be in a lot of pain and it's very concerning that someone could deliberately attack wildlife in such a cowardly way.

“We would urge anyone who has information about this incident - specifically the person or persons responsible - to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.”

The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a male swan was shot dead in a Sunderland park last week. (RSPCA/PawsForThought)The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a male swan was shot dead in a Sunderland park last week. (RSPCA/PawsForThought)
The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a male swan was shot dead in a Sunderland park last week. (RSPCA/PawsForThought)

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal - except under licence - to take, injure or kill wild birds or to take, damage or destroy their eggs or nest whilst it is in use or being built. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

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