Police and RSPCA hunt sick jokers who put a SOCK over a swan’s head and left it in misery
- A swan was left in the dark after a black sock was placed over its head in Lincoln
- Lincolnshire Police said bird could have starved if swan hospital hadn’t saved it
- Police and RSPCA are now hunting for the ‘mindless’ thugs behind the prank
- It is an offence to kill, injure or take wild birds except under licence
Police launched a manhunt today for the ‘mindless’ thugs who almost suffocated a swan by putting a sock over its head and neck.
The bird was left in the dark after the black sock was placed over its head as it swam in the Catchwater Drain in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
The swan had a lucky escape after the incident was reported to the Yorkshire Swan and Rescue Hospital, which quickly came to free the bird on Sunday.
Lincolnshire Police said if the Swan and Rescue Hospital had not intervened, the bird could have starved, or even suffocated, inside the tight-fitting sock which reached halfway down its neck.
Lincolnshire Police is now working with RSPCA to appeal for witness to the incident, in order to bring the cruel pranksters to justice.
The bird (pictured) was left in the dark after the black sock was placed over its head as it swam in the Catchwater Drain in Lincoln, Lincolnshire
PC Llewellyn, investigating officer, said: ‘Any type of animal cruelty will not be tolerated and we will carry out a full investigation into this incident.
‘We work with wildlife organisations who report these incidents to us so we can investigate.
‘We believe the item had been placed on swan’s head intentionally, due to how snug the fit was and how far down the neck of the swan the tube was.
‘We do not believe that this was accidental. Had the Swan Rescue not intervened, the swan would have either starved or potentially suffocated.
‘We would like to hear from anyone who can assist us with our investigation or anyone who may have seen anyone around the swan in the water in the days leading up to May 2.’
And RSPCA Inspector Kate Burris added: ‘The consequences of this mindless prank could have resulted in this poor swan suffering over a long period of time, and ultimately ended in their death.
‘Given that this is the breeding and nesting season at the moment, this could have also resulted in suffering and sadly death for any dependent offspring.
‘We would urge anyone who has any information as to who may have done this to this poor swan, to call the police on 101, or contact the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.’
All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take wild birds except under licence.
The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Anyone who can assist the police with their investigation should call 101 and quote crime reference 21000242297.
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