In five separate incidents, swans that reside along a waterway in the British city of Lincoln have been bludgeoned to death, at least once by a gang of men using a nail-studded baton.
Authorities believe the birds are being taken for food; one was found wrapped up “like a turkey.” Great Britain’s Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects the birds. The first swan was found on December 13th.
Constable Nick Willey reported:
The remains of five birds have been found. The evidence we have is that there is little left of the bodies and for the want of better words one of the birds was found in a bag done up like a turkey. Swans, like any wild bird, are protected by law so this is not only very cruel, but it’s also illegal.”
Charlotte Childs, of the RSPCA’s Lincolnshire Mid and Lincoln British police said:
I don’t know what the idea of eating them is. They may be a Christmas delicacy for some people. Swans, by their nature, form emotional attachments with their mates, so when one swan is killed the welfare of the other is put at risk, too.