NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Three swans found dead in bags next to Aberdeen river

The River Dee near to Ruthrieston, Aberdeen Image copyright Bill Harrison

Three swans have been found dead inside bags in an Aberdeen river.

The Scottish SPCA said one of the birds had been shot and had its flesh removed. Two more swans have since been found, one of which had also been shot.

A member of the public found the first bird in a bag in the River Dee, near Robert Gordon University's architecture school, on 25 February.

Later that week, police contacted the SSPCA after discovering more bags with dead birds inside.

The animal welfare charity is appealing for information about the deaths.

The SSPCA said the second bird had been shot but no flesh had been removed. It is not clear how the third swan died, but it also had flesh removed.

'Used for meat'

The birds were discovered about 100m (328ft) from Morrison's Bridge on 3 March.

Inspectors suspect the animals had been killed for meat.

A Scottish SPCA spokeswoman said: "These three swans were found dead in a close proximity to each other.

"Due to the circumstances, we believe that the same person is responsible for the deaths of all three birds. We would like to find out who this is and the reason the swans ended up in this state.

"Two had gunshot wounds and two had flesh missing which may have been used for meat."

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, anyone found guilty of harming or killing a swan may be subject to a criminal investigation.