Cambridgeshire

RSPCA hunts crossbow attacker after second Cambridgeshire bird shot

Goose and swan with crossbow injuries
Image caption A goose was shot just two weeks before the latest attack on a swan

A second crossbow attack on a bird in Cambridgeshire is evidence of "a sustained attack on the wildlife of the area", the RSPCA has warned.

A swan is currently being treated in intensive care at the charity's Norfolk hospital after being found in Upwell with two crossbow bolts embedded in it.

Last month a goose was found near Elm with a crossbow bolt in its back.

The RSPCA described the latest attack on the swan, on Sunday, as "truly horrific, senseless and violent".

The swan was spotted with a crossbow bolt protruding from its shoulder.

Image caption The swan is being treated by RSPCA vets for its two crossbow bolt injuries

An X-ray carried out at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre revealed a second bolt embedded near its tail.

RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, who rescued the bird, said: "Presumably someone must have shot this beautiful bird with this cruel weapon, and then calmly reloaded and shot him a second time.

"This is the most recent in what feels like a sustained attack on the wildlife in this area and I am very anxious to put a stop to it."

Alison Charles, East Winch manager, said: "Sadly it is not looking good for this poor swan at the moment. He has not been as lucky as the goose.

"The bolt penetrated one of his air sacs and had dead tissue around it.

"The injuries here are truly horrific, it is so sad. It seems such a senseless and violent way to treat such graceful birds."

Image caption X-rays were carried out on the swan at East Winch hospital near King's Lynn

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to take, injure or kill a swan and punishment can include fines up to £5,000 or a prison sentence of up to six months.

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