Gloucestershire

Crossbow-shot Cheltenham swan's eye 'miraculously' saved

"George" the swan Image copyright Vale Wildlife Hospital
Image caption Despite fears that "George" had lost its eye, staff at Vale Wildlife Hospital were amazed to see it was still there after the swelling went down

A swan that was shot with a crossbow has "miraculously" not lost its eye and is up and walking.

The bird known as "George" was found with a bolt embedded in its head in Cheltenham's Pittville Park on Tuesday.

Despite fears it had lost its eye, staff at Vale Wildlife Hospital were amazed to see it was still there after the swelling went down.

Caroline Gould, from the wildlife hospital, said: "We couldn't believe it - he's one lucky swan."

The "well-loved" swan, along with its breeding partner Zelda, has been a fixture on Pittville lakes for a number of years.

Image copyright Vale Wildlife Hospital
Image caption The bird known as "George" was found with a bolt lodged in its head in Cheltenham's Pittville Park on Tuesday
Image copyright Vale Wildlife Hospital
Image caption The injured bird was taken to Vale Wildlife Hospital for treatment

According to Ms Gould, the bolt missed the swan's brain "by millimetres".

"It was so swollen but now the swelling's gone down to our amazement, miraculously, it looks as if his eye's still there," she said.

"Whether or not he will have any sight in that eye we don't know yet and how the bolt went in without piercing it we really don't know."

A funding page for the swan has raised more than £5,500 and a £3,000 reward has been pledged for information leading to a successful prosecution.

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