Baby swan on Leeds-Liverpool Canal shot with pellet gun by cruel yobs
Date of alert:
Thursday, 22 September 2022
West Yorkshire Police
A member of the public spotted the young bird motionless near Brunthwaite Swing Bridge on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, close to Silsden, on Monday morning, and contacted the animal charity and the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital for help.
It is understood that a farmer in the area has previously had animals targeted in a similar way over the past year.
The cygnet was initially out of reach of her rescuers, but RSPCA inspector Adam Dickinson managed to hook the bird using a reach and rescue pole and bring her to safety on the towpath.
The juvenile bird was bleeding from a circular wound to the side of her head and although an x-ray did not show any evidence of a pellet having penetrated, it is likely that she was shot by an air rifle.
Mr Dickinson said: “It may have been a plastic pellet and while it was not showing up on the scan, you can see an 8mm hole on the side of the head close to her eye.
“When I arrived the cygnet was on the opposite of the bank close to an overflow duct and she was proving very difficult to reach. She was obviously unwell and was struggling to raise her head.