Police in Bournemouth are appealing for witnesses after two swans were attacked with a crossbow in the Muscliffe area of the town.
The swans, a male and female pair, were seriously injured in the attack last Wednesday at 6pm at Throop Mill.
The RSPCA were alerted by members of the public. The male was caught and received treatment for an injured lung.
However, the female could not be caught and died from her injuries two days later.
PC Claire Dinsdale said: “This is an atrocious act and, following further investigations, I am now able to release some details of a man we would like to speak with.
“He was seen in the area of Throop Mill at around 6.15pm and has a very distinctive appearance.
“He is around six feet tall, of solid build, in his late forties and had a tanned, weathered face and dark hair.
“He was wearing a black baseball cap and a black or dark coloured leather jacket with red piping.
“He was carrying a black crossbow which also had red piping on it and appeared to almost match the clothing he had on.
“Anyone who may have witnessed the attack take place or can help us further with our enquiries is urged to call the non-emergency number 101.”
A £150 reward has been offered to help catch the person who killed a swan with a crossbow and wounded her mate in Dorset. The birds were discovered on Thursday night near Bournemouth’s historic Throop Mill. The male swan has been released back on to the River Stour.
The RSPCA has described the incident as despicable, mindless and cruelty. It's using forensic testing of the recovered bolts to try to trace whoever fired them.
Police would like to speak to a tall man who was seen at Throop Mill at around 6.15 pm on Wednesday, with a black and red crossbow over his shoulder. He is in his late 40s with weathered, tanned, shaven skin.