A swan has been found dead in a stream in Bosham with suspected gunshot wounds,
The body of the bird was spotted by a member of the public floating in a stream in the Ratham Lane area of Bosham, West Sussex, at the beginning of December.
The RSPCA is appealing for information from members of the public who might know what happened.
Inspector Jodie Gregg attended the scene on December 1, and retrieved the body of the swan.
“The swan appears to have been shot in the head,” she said.
“There is no evidence to suggest the bird suffered injuries inflicted by another animal.
“He could have been shot somewhere else and dumped at this location, or he could have been killed there.
“Either way, it’s really upsetting to see such a beautiful, majestic bird killed in such a senseless way.
“We’d like to hear from anyone who may have seen anything, or heard gunshots in the area. Or from anyone who may have information about what happened to this swan.
“If you know what might have happened to the bird, please call the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
“Swans are protected and it’s illegal to shoot or kill one of these birds.”
Anyone caught deliberately trying to injure a wild bird, or kill or take it without a licence, can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000 if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
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