TWO swans have been critically injured after being shot by an airgun inLivingston.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) was called to rescue three swans from the town’s Dedridge Pond on Monday (24 October).
An adult female, known locally as Edna, was found to have been shot at least 14 times in the head and body while her mate was also severely injured.
The cygnet did not appear to have sustained any visible injuries, however, two weeks prior to the incident another cygnet, believed to be from the same family, was found dead at the pond.
Three Scottish SPCA ambulance drivers rescued the birds and transported them to a veterinary clinic for examination and pain relief. They have since been moved to the charity’s Wildlife Rescue Centre at Middlebank nearDunfermlinewhere they are receiving further care and ongoing veterinary attention.
Connie O’Neill, from the SSPCA said: “This was a deliberate and cruel attack on a family of defenceless swans.
“Edna, her mate and her remaining cygnet are being made comfortable and receiving all the care and attention they require but the next two days will be crucial.
“We really hope they pull through for their sake and also for the local community group who have shown such consideration and concern for their welfare.”
According to the local Dedridge Environment and Ecology Project Edna has lived at Dedridge pond in Livingston for over 16 years and she has bred successfully over the years. Her previous mate died, but her current mate, affectionately known as Eck, joined her two years ago.
A £1,000 reward has been offered by an anonymous donor for information leading to a conviction.
Anyone with information relating to the incident, which is believed to have taken place over the weekend of the 22 and 23 October, should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999 or Lothian and Borders Police Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The Scottish SPCA supports a total ban on the use of airguns inScotland. The charity continues to deal with a high level of sickening airgun attacks on animals. Domestic cats are the most common target, but wildlife such as swans, seagulls and deer are frequently reported maimed or killed.