01:30PM, Thursday 18 January 2018
Two swans at a pond were shot on Sunday morning, leaving a cygnet’s life hanging in the balance.
The injured young bird, who had been shot through the neck, was collected from Amerden Pond, Amerden Lane, Taplow, by rescuers from the Swan Support centre in Datchet, along with a male adult bird, which had been shot through the sides of his head.
The two swans, who are part of a family unit that includes a female adult and two other cygnets, were taken to Alma Veterinary Hospital in Windsor, the latest victims in a long line of violent attacks on the waterfowl.
The cygnet may have to be put to sleep because the airgun pellet ended up just millimetres from his spinal cord. His condition will be monitored during the rest of the week.
The adult bird, his father, is recovering and on a course of antibiotics.
Wendy Hermon, operations director at Swan Support, said she believed the perpetrators were poachers who had cut through a fence to reach the pond.
“I think they were doing it for food,” she said.
“Why go to a lake that is out of the way and actually break in to get there?”
Other attacks that have happened on the river may be done for entertainment, she added.
“Maybe they do not know it is the law that they can’t shoot them?” she added.
The alarm was raised on Sunday by Richard Glover, 61, who lives in Amerden Lane.
The shooters cut through a fence to gain access to the pond and when this was noticed, the injured swans were spotted.
“They just want hanging,” Mr Glover said.
“I am not a violent man. It is just horrible.
“They are just wild animals. They don’t do anybody any harm.”
Mr Glover, the manag-ing director of a kitchen company, also praised Swan Support for its rapid response.
The shootings come after police stepped up patrols along the Slough stretch of the Grand Union Canal last summer following an attack on a female swan and the theft of three of her eggs.
Later, in August, three swans were shot dead at the canal.
Visit www.swansupport.org.uk to learn more about the group. Call 07968 868172 or 07572 450967, or email info@swansup
port.org.uk with any concerns about injured swans.
A cygnet was killed after it flew into a car near the Handy Cross roundabout on the A404 at High Wycombe on Thursday, January 11, at 3.30pm.
Three other young swans it was flying with were rescued by Swan Support.
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