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THUGS KILL SWANS; Nest wrecked and eggs destroyed.

Byline: ELEANOR BARLOW @eleanorbarlow

THUGS are suspected of killing a swan and destroying its eggs in a sickening attack.

Several concerned residents contacted the RSPCA after the suspected attack on the swan, part of a nesting pair that had settled on parkland just off East Lancashire Road in Norris Green.

Walkers spotted the female swan with its head in the water and surrounded by smashed egg shells on Saturday morning.

One onlooker, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, branded the attack the work of a "psychopath".

He said: "After killing the swan they have then taken the eggs from the nest and smashed them on the footpath. There was a stone next to the dead swan."

The male swan appeared unharmed, but was left sitting by the side of his dead mate.

The pair had been nesting at the site, opposite the Showcase Cinema, for several weeks.

Officers from the RSPCA recovered the swan's body on Saturday and said the destroyed eggs suggested it had been the victim of an attack.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "The RSPCA received several calls about this dead swan on Saturday and an animal welfare officer attended.

"The bird was sitting on her nest and her head was in the water. Her mate was beside her and there were a number of broken eggs nearby.

"We don''t have any witnesses at the moment so it''s not clear exactly what happened, but it appears as though someone may have attacked them."

The undamaged eggs in the nest were cold when officers got there.

The spokeswoman added: "The dead swan's mate was still at the scene yesterday but the eggs won''t hatch now I'm afraid.

"It's extremely sad." Male and female swans usually mate for life, although some adult birds do find alternative mates if one bird dies.

Anyone with any information on the attack should call the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 and ask to leave a message for animal welfare officer David Hatton.

CAPTION(S):

ALONE: The surviving swan SMASHED: Eggshells

BRUTAL: The dead swan and its mate on their nest off East Lancashire Road
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 22, 2013
Words:357
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