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Swan shot in Thatcham while guarding four eggs

Bird was hit by an air rifle

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby


01635 886637

Second swan shot in Thatcham

A swan has been shot while sitting on her nest guarding four eggs.

The bird was hit in the head by an air rifle behind the bowling alley on Lower Way, Thatcham, requiring her to be taken to Swan Support in Datchet for emergency surgery.

The eggs were also taken to Swan Support.

The horrific incident took place on Wednesday.

It is the second swan to be shot in recent weeks, with the first taking place on 11 April in West Mills, Newbury.

Operations director at Swan Support, Wendy Hermon, said: “She was sat on a nest and they shot her in the head.

“We got a call to say she had blood all over its head. We went to pick her up and she had an operation on Thursday to remove an 8mm ball fired from an air weapon.

“She’s very subdued but she’s okay and will hopefully make a full recovery.

“I think it’s sick, sick people who have nothing else better to do. How can someone shoot a defenceless swan sat on a nest?”

By royal prerogative, the Queen has the right to own any unmarked swan in open waters, although this right is usually only exercised on certain stretches of the Thames.

David Barber MVO, who is the monarch’s Swan Marker, said:  “I am shocked and disgusted to learn of the shooting of a female swan who was sitting on a nest of four eggs.

“At the present time the swan is still alive but this is a life threatening injury and we do not know whether she will survive.

“This type of mindless cruelty is totally unacceptable and unnecessary and I sincerely hope the perpetrator of this abhorrent act will be pursued and punished accordingly.

“I hope that anyone with knowledge or information about this crime will report it to Thames Valley Police.”

The crime reference number for the incident is 43200122152 and you can call 101 or report it on the Thames Valley Police website if you have any information.

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