RSPCA horror after swan is hit by boat on Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads. Picture: Ian Burt

The Norfolk Broads. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A swan was horrifically injured when it was caught in the propeller of a boat on the Norfolk Broads.

The injuries were so severe that his leg was almost severed from his body and his left wing was severely damaged.

He also had a horrible wound to his neck which was so bad that the bone and muscle was clearly visible.

A concerned member of the public contacted the RSPCA and the swan was taken straight to a vet, where he was put to sleep to prevent him suffering further as nothing could be done to save him.

Inspector Emily Astillberry, who attended, said: 'This was a truly reckless and awful incident and I am concerned that it could have been done deliberately by joy riders.

'However, even if this was a genuine accident, whoever hit the swan would have known that they had run over something and would have seen - yet they still didn't stop to help.

'Swans are such beautiful animals and it truly breaks my heart to think that this poor creature could have been targeted and then left to suffer with such horrific injuries.'

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She added: 'I would like to thank the kind member of the public who was on the water at the time and contacted us and then did all they could to save him by keeping his head out of the water and moving him to the bank and out of the way of other boats.'

The penalties faced if caught deliberately injuring a wild bird can be up to six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

The incident happened near Wroxham bridge on Thursday, June 15.

To donate to the RSPCA, text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message) or visit with information about what happened to the swan should call the RSPCA Cruelty Line on 0300 123 4999.