1. ITV Report

Swan escapes brain injuries by 'milimetres' after being shot in the head with a crossbow

Lucky: The swan is expected to make a full recovery Credit: SWNS

A swan has cheated death after it was shot through the head with a crossbow - but escaped a brain injury by milimetres.

The eight-week old male gosling is expected to make a full recovery after the arrow narrowly missed his brain.

A shocked dog-walker found the injured bird in Leicester and called the RSPCA.

X-ray images showed that the arrow had passed clean through its head but had not inflicted fatal injuries.

Sarah Bate, RSPCA inspector, said it was clear the bird had suffered badly as a result of the "very worrying" attack.

The crossbow had gone straight through his head, just above his right eye,and straight through the other side - a very shocking thing to see.

"I took him immediately to a vets where an x-ray showed the crossbow had missed his brain by a tiny fraction - just millimetres.

He is a very lucky swan indeed as this could very easily have been fatal.

– Sarah Bate, RSPCA inspector

Vets have since removed the arrow and the bird is expected to make a full recovery, after which he will be released back into the wild.

The RSPCA has appealed for information for who was behind the attack.

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to take, injure or kill wild birds without a special license.

The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.