A swan has been killed and another left with a metal nut lodged in its beak after “intentional attacks” at a beauty spot in Shropshire.
A fisherman found one of the birds on Wednesday at Holmer Lake in Brookside, Telford.
The other was found with an injured neck on 8 June and later died.
A local wildlife group said its members are “devastated” and has branded those responsible as “cowards”. The RSPCA is investigating.
West Mercia Police has been informed.
Connor Furnival, chairman of The Friends of Holmer Lake group, said: “[Those responsible] are cowards in my eyes.
“This is a sickening act… shooting at the swans when they’re completely defenceless in the middle of the lake.
“We have all got to know the swans over the years and this has had a detrimental effect on us all. We are absolutely devastated.”
The group is planning to install nature cameras to keep an eye on the birds and will carry out patrols of the area.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are concerned that both these incidents were caused by someone using a catapult to intentionally harm wildlife.”
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, anyone prosecuted for deliberately trying to injure, kill or take a wild bird can face up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.
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