1. ITV Report

Appeal launched after a swan is found with shotgun wounds

The swan was put down as a result of suffering from a shotgun wound. Credit: RSPCA

An appeal has been launched after a swan was shot in a popular beauty spot near Sutton Coldfield.

The swan was found collapsed at the side of Coton Road in Marston.

He was badly injured and had been suffering with a shotgun wound for at least a week and had to be put down as a result of that.

A member of the public spotted the swan on Monday morning (February 4) near Lea Marston Lakes and alerted the RSPCA.

The team say the swan was weak, underweight and unable to stand. He was taken for emergency treatment at Vale Wildlife Centre in Gloucestershire.

An X-ray of the bird revealed that he had been shot with a shotgun. Credit: RSPCA

Staff began treatment and then took an X-ray of the bird which revealed that he had been shot with a shotgun - with pieces from the cartridge found in his wings - and had ingested some of the cartridge which meant he couldn’t feed.

Sadly veterinary staff decided the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep. It is awful to think he had been slowly dying and suffering since the shooting.

I would also like to remind people that under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)it is illegal to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs, unless under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine."

– Cara Gibbon, Animal Collection Officer
Cartridge pieces were found in his digestive tract which indicate that he must have swallowed some of the lead. Credit: RSPCA

The wildlife centre say there were cartridge pieces in the bird's wings but also one in his digestive tract which indicate that he must have swallowed some of the lead, causing major problems.

This meant he was unable to feed properly which is why he was slowly starving.

The RSPCA have launched an appeal. Anyone with any information is asked to get in touch.