Snipers Target Swans on the Grand Union Canal
Sometimes I wonder how I could possibly be a member of the same species as some of the people that I share this planet with. I appreciate that birds may not be a priority for everyone and that some people may have no interest in birds whatsoever. But why would anyone want to shoot them?
Sadly it looks very much as if raptors are being gunned down in Scotland to protect grouse shooting estates. This behaviour is illegal and inexcusable but at least has a purpose. Which is a great deal more than can be said for a recent slaughter in Slough. Three swans have been discovered shot to death on the Grand Union Canal in the Berkshire town.
Three Bodies Recovered
The dead birds were a male, his cygnet and a further young male. The cygnet’s mother had also been shot and is currently being treated by a vet in an attempt to at least save her life. She had been shot in the neck and is currently in intensive care. The other birds were already dead when rescuers arrived.
Berkshire charity Swan Lifeline shared the news of the attacks on Facebook and explained how distressing the episode had been for everyone involved. They are now appealing for witnesses to come forward. The charity, which is based in Eton, has reported the matter to the police. Distressing photographs of the swans have been published to draw attention to the incident in the hope of discovering witnesses who can identify the guilty party.
Sadly, this episode is not the first to take place at the same location. There is clearly a sniper at work in the area and they need to be caught otherwise it will be merely a matter of time before more swans are killed. There may be more than one person involved in the crimes. This type of attack is very disturbing as those who are cruel to animals often progress to attacking people. This crime has chilling overtones of the Croydon cat killer, who is obviously a psychopath.
If you have information regarding these attacks, you should contact Thames Valley Police on 101 and quote the crime reference number 43170257314.