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Injured swan found with pellets in spine shot down in north Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:38 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:38 26 March 2019

The bird was taken by PACT animal sanctuary and is recovering at a wildlife centre in Derbyshire. Photo: Rod Cowen

The bird was taken by PACT animal sanctuary and is recovering at a wildlife centre in Derbyshire. Photo: Rod Cowen

Archant

A swan injured with shotgun pellets while flying in north Norfolk is believed to have been shot down while in mid-flight.

Norfolk police were told an injured bird had been found on Beeston Common, near Sheringham on Saturday, March 2.

And officers believe the swan, which was found with three shotgun pellets in its spine, was shot at from the Sheringham area.

Rod Cowen, from Beeston Regis, who found the bird outside his home, said: “I was outside my cottage and this swan came out of the treetops and flew into a garden.

“It was injured and I sat with it for about three or four hours waiting for the RSPCA.

Norfolk police believe the swan was shot from the area around Sheringham. Photo: Rod CowenNorfolk police believe the swan was shot from the area around Sheringham. Photo: Rod Cowen

“They were extremely busy.”

The 64-year-old retiree added: “It turned out to be shot gun pellets - it had three pellets in its spine.

“It had been shot from above.

“Someone could have been shooting rabbits and shot it accidentally.”

An injured swan was found with shotgun pellets in its spine near Beeston Common. Photo: Rod CowenAn injured swan was found with shotgun pellets in its spine near Beeston Common. Photo: Rod Cowen

Mr Cowen, who has lived in the area for three years, said the swan had been taken by animal sanctuary volunteers to a wildlife centre in Derbyshire.

He said the bird - thought to be male - was doing well, but added that it had been separated from its mate.

He said: “The mate of the swan was flying round looking for him.

“Unfortunately she flew away and as far as we know we don’t think they’ve been reunited.”

A Norfolk police spokeswoman said: “Police received reports of a swan found on Beeston Common on Saturday, March 2.

“Staff from PACT animal sanctuary took the swan to a vet and X-rays showed the swan had been shot.

“The swan was transferred by PACT to a swan specialist who believes the swan was shot during flight.

“We have been unable to ascertain where the swan was shot from but it is believed it would have been in the Sheringham area.

“There is an offence of intentionally injuring a non-Schedule 1 wild bird, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“Should anyone have information they should contact PC Ian Smith at Norfolk Police on 101.”

Have you been involved in an animal rescue in north Norfolk?

Email reporter Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk

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