England

Stockton Heath swan egg theft investigated

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Media captionA female sawn was left behind

The theft of a swan and a clutch of eggs from a nest near a pond in Cheshire is being investigated by police.

Officers were called after a couple who regularly visit the nest found seven eggs and a male swan had vanished.

Carolyn and Darren Mostyn, said metal signs and notice boards had also been taken from the nature spot in Ackers Pit, Stockton Heath.

Police confirmed they are treating the incident as theft.

The RSPCA has also been informed and is treating the incident as "suspicious".

Protected by law

Mrs Mostyn, whose husband photographs the birds, believes the theft took place in the early hours of Sunday.

"The birds have got to know us and my husband can get really close to the nest without bothering them," the 43-year-old, of Latchford, said.

"But, on Sunday morning the eggs and the male had gone, and the female swan was just swimming around looking for them."

Swans, their nests and eggs are protected by law.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act for anyone to take a swan or its eggs from the wild, or to move or interfere with a swan's nest while it is in use."

A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary said inquiries were continuing.

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