A SWAN shot by thugs with a catapult on a canal near Stratford has died from its injuries.
The male – half of a breeding pair on the canal near Wilmcote – was attacked around lunchtime on Sunday. It’s believed three youths who had been causing a nuisance in the village earlier used a catapult to shoot the swan from the towpath of the canal.
Cyril Bennis of Stratford Swan Rescue, who was called to the scene and spent two hours rescuing the bird before taking it to Wychbold Swan Sanctuary, said he was “devastated” by the animal’s death.
He said: “It had a fractured skull and a shattered eyeball and it couldn’t cope with those injuries. There was nothing to be done.”
Mr Bennis said the incident began in Wilmcote, where a group of three youths were spotted doing “target practice” with a catapult or similar device. They then made their way down the canal towpath towards Stratford, where a pair of breeding swans had built a nest.
“It was an awful scene to look at the condition of it,” Mr Bennis told the Herald. “It was senseless and unnecessary. How could anybody do that?”
He said the swan survived the night, which gave rescuers cause for optimism, but its injuries proved too serious and it had to be put down.
He added: “It puts it on a different level. We need to get these culprits as soon as possible to stop them from doing anything like this again.”