Swan spreads its wings into freedom on the river at March after it was nursed back to health from a gun shot wound to its head

A swan that was shot in the head is being released back into the wild

A swan that was shot in the head is being released back into the wild - Credit: Archant

A swan that was shot in the head two months ago spread its wings when it was released back into the wild after being nursed back to health.

An X ray showing where the swan was shot

An X ray showing where the swan was shot - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA rescued the swan at an infamous air gun hotspot in March in July and took it to the East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King’s Lynn where it has been in recovery since.

The bird was released at a riverside location in March by RSPCA Insp Jon Knight.

He said: “People need to remember the devastating consequences that shooting at animals with air guns can have.

“In recent years I have been aware of several other shootings along this stretch of river, involving other swans, water birds and even an otter. It is quite a hot spot for these kind of attacks.

RSPCA Insp Jon Knight by the River Nene March with the shot swan being returned to wild. The swan ha

RSPCA Insp Jon Knight by the River Nene March with the shot swan being returned to wild. The swan has been in recovery at RSPCA East Winch Wilidfe Centre since the beginning of July and is now being released back in to the wild. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals.

“These are deliberate acts of cruelty and I would appeal to people’s consciences not to commit such an atrocious offence.

Most Read

“We would also like to remind members of the public of the penalties faced if caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal.

“Under the Animal Welfare Act, those causing unnecessary suffering to animals face a £20,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison,” he said.

RSPCA Insp Jon Knight by the River Nene March with the shot swan being returned to wild. The swan ha

RSPCA Insp Jon Knight by the River Nene March with the shot swan being returned to wild. The swan has been in recovery at RSPCA East Winch Wilidfe Centre since the beginning of July and is now being released back in to the wild. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The swan was shot in the head with a metal pellet near Coldham Bank and was found by a passer-by with blood coming from the wound on July 1.

The bird was rushed to the East Winch Wildlife Centre where x-rays showed the metal pellet had lodged in his head.

Deputy chief inspector Jon Knight said they found 23 air gun gas cartridges in a five metre square area close to where the swan was found.

The cartridges were of varying degrees of age, from rusty to new which suggested that perhaps one person or a group of people had been regularly actively shooting in the area for some time.

RSPCA Insp Jon Knight by the River Nene March with the shot swan being returned to wild. The swan ha

RSPCA Insp Jon Knight by the River Nene March with the shot swan being returned to wild. The swan has been in recovery at RSPCA East Winch Wilidfe Centre since the beginning of July and is now being released back in to the wild. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter