Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 10:54 UK

Appeal over spate of swan attacks

X-ray of the swan shot in Telford (pic by RSPCA)
The swan found in Telford was shot by an airgun, vets said

RSPCA officials have condemned a spate of attacks on swans in the West Midlands.

In one incident, in Manor Farm Drive, Willenhall, a cygnet was killed as it was pelted with objects and another is missing, inspectors said.

On Tuesday a swan was found in Telford, Shropshire unable to stand after being shot with an airgun.

The five-year-old female bird was operated on, and is recovering at a wildlife rescue centre, the RSPCA said.

'Callous behaviour'

A spokeswoman said they were hoping to go back to the lake, at Leegomery Pool, and catch the swan's mate so he could also be kept at the rescue centre to aid her recovery.

Inspectors said youths were seen throwing things into the canal from the bridge above in the attack in Willenhall, which happened on Friday.

They said witnesses described seeing the parent swans trying unsuccessfully to help the killed cygnet and bring its head back from under the water.

RSPCA inspector Penny Wieland said: "This type of callous behaviour is simply sick and we must find out who is responsible."

She urged anyone with information to contact police.

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