RSPCA inspectors are appealing for information after three swans were found stabbed and beheaded.
The RSPCA has launched an investigation after two mute swans were found dead in Birchmere Park, Thamesmead, in November. They had each been beheaded.
Another swan was also found at Southmere Lake, Thamesmead, while three cygnets have also been reported to the RSPCA as missing.
Inspector Nick Wheelhouse said: “Park wardens have informed me that they’re aware of the deaths of three swans, three cygnets and one Canada Goose so far in recent weeks.
“It’s really concerning because the birds seem to have been stabbed and then beheaded, with their bodies left beside the water.
“While it’s a serious animal welfare concern it’s also really upsetting for any of the park users who make the grisly find.”
Swans are protected and it’s illegal to kill one of these birds. Anyone caught deliberately trying to injure a wild bird, or kill or take it without a licence, can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000 if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Inspector Wheelhouse is keen to establish what has happened to these birds so is asking anyone with any information about what happened to them to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 9018 and leave a message for him.
“Peabody Neighbourhood wardens are now patrolling the area. And locals are so concerned about the birds that they’ve set up a patrol group to protect them, with various volunteers patrolling the area at night,” Inspector Wheelhouse added.
“They are also arranging for warning notices to be placed around the parks and police have been made aware and have stepped up patrols.”
To report animal cruelty please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.