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Walkers discover swan shot dead in popular park

PUBLISHED: 14:20 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:39 24 May 2018

The dead male swan was found with a pellet in its neck. Picture: Julie Young

The dead male swan was found with a pellet in its neck. Picture: Julie Young

Archant

A swan was found dead in a Great Yarmouth park after being shot in the neck.

Debra Tough was walking her dogs through Bure Park on Friday last week when she made the grisly discovery.

She said: “I was taking some lovely photos of a swan with her cygnets. We then cut back through the wooded area and came across this poor dead swan.”

She immediately used her phone to try and make contact with many organisations and groups including the RSPB and RSPCA but as it was past 5pm, she couldn’t get to talk to anyone to report it.

Julie Young also came across the body and unsuccessfully attempted to get through to the council and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, before eventually making contact with Marine and Wildlife Rescue, who came to collect the dead swan.

Daniel Goldsmith, chairman at Marine and Wildlife Rescue, said: “We recovered the carcass of a swan on Friday evening. It was in very good condition, heavy, very healthy looking, no reason why it should have died. The only mark on it was this bit on the neck which looked suspicious.”

Mr Goldsmith took the bird to the Wild Touch organisation in Bacton, where founder David Carr discovered an air rifle pellet lodged in the swan’s neck.

Mr Goldsmith said: “There have been lots of anti-social goings on in the park of late and it could be linked to some of what is going on there.

“Norfolk police have taken it quite seriously and are being very proactive in their response.”

A spokesman for the police confirmed they were addressing the issue of anti-social behaviour in the area.

“We have received reports of anti-social behaviour in the area of Bure Park and have increased patrols as a result. Anyone witnessing anti-social or suspicious behaviour is encouraged to call 101.”

As of Wednesday morning, the RSPCA had not recovered the carcass from Bacton, however, they did issue a statement earlier in the week encouraging anyone with information to contact the RSPCA’s cruelty line anonymously on 0300 1234 999.

Swans mate for life and the dead swan has left behind a female partner and six cygnets.

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