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Swans shot in "shameful, pointless, and cowardly” act



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The blood-soaked pair were found wandering near the Watermill Theatre on Wednesday evening by the manager of the venue, Clare Lindsay.
Despite the best efforts of charity Swan Lifeline the female later died, however the male is slowly recovering at the Eton headquarters thanks to the efforts of the quick-thinking treatment team.
It is believed they were shot with an airgun.
The manager of Swan Lifeline, Wendy Hermon, said the incident was the most disturbing thing she had experienced in 20 years.
“We got the call about 4.30pm and went out to find both of them had been shot in the head. It's absolutely appalling. They are so docile they probably walked right up to whoever did it,” she aid.
“In all my years here I have never seen anything as horrifying as this. What would go through the mind of someone to do such a thing?
“We put them in the pen and gave them medication, antibiotics, the female died that night, but the male somehow managed to survive. They wrapped their necks around each other, it was heartbreaking to see them like that.
“We are shocked by this, it is utterly appalling and disgusting action to shoot them both like that, they are such an easy target.”
The Queen’s swan marker, David Barber, who travels the Thames each year rounding up mute swans as part of the Swan Upping ceremony which dates back to the 12th century, slammed those responsible.
“We are responsible for swans wherever the Queen exercises her right and we did claim ownership of these swans, so we are not very happy about this at all,” he said.
“It is a quiet river, this looks like it was done very deliberately. We are extremely upset for the female to lose her life and the male to lose his partner, it is very distressing. To shoot them like this in such a pointless way is just not on.”
A spokeswoman for the Watermill Theatre, Tie Williams, said eight adult Muscovy ducks had gone missing over the past few months, and asked members of the public to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in the area.
Thames Valley Police are investigating the incident.
The matter has been recorded as a criminal damage, according to the force.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Kirsten Goodfield via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.



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