Cruel pranksters that put a sock on a swan’s head could have killed the bird if it hadn’t been found.
The swan was spotted in the Coulson Road area of Lincoln, UK, on Sunday, May 2, and if someone hadn’t have reported the incident, the bird could have died from starvation or suffocation.
It’s believed the sock was placed there intentionally due to how tightly the sock was on the swan’s head, and how far down the tube was on the bird’s neck.
PC Llewellyn of Lincolnshire Police, said in a statement, ‘We believe the item has been placed on Swan’s head intentionally due to how snug the fit was and how far down the neck of the swan the tube was. We do not believe that this was accidental. Had the Swan rescue not intervened, the Swan would have either starved or potentially suffocated.’
While the bird was rescued in time, police alongside the RSPCA have now launched an appeal to find the culprits behind what the animal charity describes as a ‘mindless prank’.
Due to wild birds, including swans, being protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to kill, injure or take wild birds except under licence. With this in mind, the culprits of the recent ordeal could face up to six months in prison, or receive an unlimited fine if they’re found guilty.
RSPCA Inspector Kate Burris said, as per Sky News, that the ‘mindless prank could have resulted in this poor swan suffering over a long period of time and ultimately ended in their death’.
Given that this is the breeding and nesting season this could also have resulted in suffering and sadly death for any dependent offspring.
Regarding the investigation, PC Llewellyn added, ‘Any type of animal cruelty will not be tolerated and we will carry out a full investigation into this incident. We work with wildlife organisations who report these incidents to us so we can investigate.’
‘We would like to hear from anyone who can assist us with our investigation or anyone who may have seen anyone around the swan in the water in the days leading up to May 2.’
Police are asking people with information to call them on 101 and to quote the crime reference number 21000242297.
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice.
Topics: Animals, investigation, Now, Police, rspca