Two swans were killed and another 10 were critically injured in two separate shooting attacks on the banks of the regal River Thames in Windsor, England.
According to the Times of England, four of the birds were shot on Jan. 24, while the other eight were shot on Jan. 27. According to Thames Valley police, the swans were protected birds that had been hit with an air rifle or a slingshot.
The birds sustained traumatic injuries as a result of being hit with the ball bearings. Three of the swans lost an eye, while others had head, beak and neck wounds, reports the Evening Standard. One of the birds was so severely injured it had to be euthanized.
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Wendy Hermon, operations director with the Swan Support charity, which treated the injured swans and took them to a local vet, said “The [other] birds will hopefully recover, but of course some of them have sustained life changing injuries.” She told the Evening Standard she believed those who shot the swans were doing it “for fun.”
Hermon also added, “All 12 of these swans are marked with bands on one leg so they are Crown swans and belong to the Queen.”
The incident remains under investigation, and there are no suspects in custody.