Animal welfare officers have appealed for information after a pair of swans were shot with a crossbow in the Black Country.
The attack left one swan with the tip of a six-inch crossbow bolt permanently embedded in its side after the birds were targeted on a stretch of canal that borders Tipton and Wednesbury.
A cygnet spotted on the same stretch of water is missing and is thought to have been killed. The adult swans are recovering at a local Swan Rescue centre after the attack, which was reported on Monday.
RSPCA animal collection officer Boris Lasserre said: “This is a sick and inhuman act. The individual who is targeting the swans is clearly intent on severely injuring or killing them.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the swans cannot be released back to the same area due to the “obvious problems” at the location. She added that pellet shots were also embedded in the body of one of the swans, while eggs in a nest in the area were smashed.
The swans, a mating pair, were “really delighted” to see each other when they were reunited at the Swan Rescue in Droitwich, following their rescue, she said.
Anyone with information should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
Meanwhile, a £1,000 reward has been offered to catch people who have been setting traps for peregrine falcons and smashing eggs.
The RSPB said nests belonging to the protected bird of prey had been targeted in two quarries in the West Midlands in the last two weeks.
RSPB officers found three spring-traps set around a peregrine’s nest at a quarry near Kingswinford, Dudley, and two eggs had been smashed.
A male bird was found caught in a trap at a second nest near Cannock in Staffordshire and had to be put down, the charity said.
Volunteers who found that nest rescued two chicks close to starvation and Raptor Rescue, which cares for injured birds of prey, is now looking after them. The RSPB said there was no sign of their mother, also feared dead. The charity is offering up to £1,000 for information that leads to the conviction of people who have been setting the traps.