Hunt for thugs catapulting swans after seven killed in lower than two months | UK | News | EUROtoday

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A gang of catapult-wielding thugs has killed seven swans in a single yr, organisations have reported, igniting a hunt for the perpetrators of an “epidemic of cruelty and brutality”. A determined search has been mounted for swan killers following a slew of assaults carried out on the majestic birds since January 27 this yr.

Four preliminary assaults have been recorded in Godstone and Old Wokingham in Surrey and Odiham in Hampshire, ensuing within the deaths of two swans earlier this yr.

Shepparton-based The Swan Sanctuary recorded an extra 5 killings in and round Surrey in the course of the first two weeks of 2024 alone.

The spate of killings has brought about native heartbreak and an offended marketing campaign in opposition to catapults, with witnesses reporting that they noticed individuals firing projectiles right into a bush.

Danni Rogers, a volunteer for The Swan Sanctuary, attended the primary reported deadly swan assault in Old Woking on January 27 and an extra two incidents in Odiham on January 30, leading to one other demise.

The Daily Mail stories that witnesses are understood to have seen individuals firing into bushes beside the water the place they have been attacked.

A 3rd fowl was shot twice within the head with catapult missiles in Godstone on February 1, and whereas the swan survived, it misplaced an eye fixed.

Images shared by the Swan Sanctuary on Facebook present the animal with a bloodied eye following the “brutal attack.

Captioning the picture, the original poster said they were “livid” that the birds were falling victim to an “epidemic of cruelty and brutality”.

They wrote: “I’m past livid. Just in from Godstone rescued by Swans and Friends.

“This beautiful old gentleman has lost his eye and has a second wound in his head. How do we stop this epidemic of cruelty and brutality.”

Mr Rogers has since launched a petition calling for a ban on the sale of catapults and legal guidelines making carrying them in public unlawful.

The petition on has referred to as for MPs to contemplate passing legal guidelines that will permit the police to “arrest those carrying, especially in areas of known wildlife crime”.

The wildlife rescuer mentioned he believes the UK is within the midst of a “wildlife crime pandemic” as a result of improve in stories of British wildlife being attacked by catapult-wielding youths.

He mentioned as much as 75 p.c of his callouts have been as a result of “apparent abuse of wildlife offences”.

The petition has up to now acquired 6,299 of the ten,000 it requires to be heard in Parliament, with a deadline of June 20, 2024, for individuals to submit their very own.