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Swan saved after being shot with bearing

PUBLISHED: 09:33 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:34 07 February 2020

The swan before being operated on at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre  Picture: SPCA

The swan before being operated on at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre Picture: SPCA

Archant

A swan needed emergency surgery to remove a ball bearing from her cheek after she was believed to have been shot with a catapult.

An X-ray of the swan's head, showing the embeded object Picture: SPCAn X-ray of the swan's head, showing the embeded object Picture: SPC

The female adult mute swan was reported to the RSPCA by a concerned member of the public who had seen the injured bird at Ferry Meadows country park, in Peterborough.

RSPCA animal collection officer Justin Disdale was sent to the location to catch the swan and take her to East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King's Lynn, for treatment.

When the bird was x-rayed it was discovered she had a piece of ammunition - a ball bearing likely to have been fired from a catapult - embedded in the side of her face.

The swan's swollen face, caused by an embedded object  Picture: Chris BishopThe swan's swollen face, caused by an embedded object Picture: Chris Bishop

Alison Charles, centre manager at East Winch, said: "Our vet examined the swan on arrival and the lump on the side of her face was very large and causing a large amount of discomfort and she was very weak.

"When we X-rayed her we could clearly see the ball bearing and we suspect it had been fired from a catapult. She was very weak when she arrived at the centre, so we needed to give her time to build up her strength before we carried out the surgery.

The surgery went well and the ball bearing was removed and she's already looking a little brighter. She's on antibiotics and hopefully will be strong enough to recover. She's likely to be with us for a number of weeks though.

The missile which was removed from the side of the swan's face Picture: RSPCAThe missile which was removed from the side of the swan's face Picture: RSPCA

"It's so sad to think that this poor swan had to suffer as a result of an injury which was most likely caused deliberately. We want to highlight this so that people can keep an eye out for wildlife in the area, although we hope that this was an isolated incident."

The RSPCA has been working with the wildlife crime officers PC Alun Bradshaw from Cambridgeshire police and PC Jon Chandler from the Norfolk force in relation to this incident.

Anyone with information should call the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 123 8018 or the police.


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