Sick thugs are killing swans

editorial image
Share this article

Appalled residents and conservationists have slammed sick thugs who are believed to have carried out a spate of swan killings in the borough.

Nature lovers fear up to half a dozen animals have died at Firs Park in Leigh, with angry residents claiming this is the third year in a row the swans have been targeted there.

I’m disgusted to think in this day and age kids feel it’s acceptable to destroy living creatures

Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) has also hit out after two swans were killed at Amberswood last week by a person who attacked them on a quad bike.

The Trust said it was aware of the rumours swirling around Firs Park but Wigan Council, which looks after the popular green space, could not confirm whether any of the birds had actually been targeted there.

Wildlife enthusiasts took to social media to voice their disgust and the authorities are now asking walkers visiting popular beauty spots around Wigan and Leigh to report any suspicious behaviour.

Responding to the alleged Firs Park incidents, one resident wrote on Facebook: “I live opposite Firs Park Lake. Five weeks ago after fearing the worst we were so happy to see our beautiful swans and their four cygnets. Today, I am angered to have to say that the last remaining one has also been killed. This is the third year on the run that mindless ‘youths’, or barbaric murderers, have destroyed our swan families.

“I’m disgusted to think in this day and age kids feel it’s acceptable to destroy living creatures.”

The post claims the most recent attack on the birds took place on Sunday.

“Today, I am angered to have to say that the last remaining one has also been killed.

“This is the third year on the run that mindless ‘youths’, or barbaric murderers, have destroyed our swan families.

“I am disgusted to think that in this day and age kids feel it’s acceptable to destroy living creatures.”

The post claims the most recent attack on the birds took place on Sunday.

However, Wigan Council asistant director for environmental services said: “We have not been made aware of any swan deaths in Firs Park. An investigation by Defra last year found a number of birds in the same location died due to natural causes but there have been no other previous reports of issued in this area.

“If anyone has concerns over the welfare of any wild animals they can contact the RSPCA.”

While mystery continues to surround the Leigh incident LWT has confirmed a fatal attack at Amberswood between Hindley and Platt Bridge.

The Trust’s Wigan projects manager Mark Champion said: “There were two swans killed at Amberswood and we think that somebody has deliberately attacked them using a quad bike.

“I don’t know why people would do this. It is difficult to perceive what is going through their heads.

“A number of people were quite upset about both these incidents and you can clearly see the general concern and unhappiness about it.

“Wigan has all these green spaces, it is what makes it unique among other urban boroughs. Everyone should be able to enjoy their walks and it should be safe for wildlife.

“It is a pity that the mindless few are ruining it for everybody. They shouldn’t be able to get four-wheel-drive quad bikes onto Amberswood in the first place and we are working with the council to try to resolve the issue.

“I would ask that should anyone see these things happening they contact either ourselves, Wigan Council or the police.”

Any incidents of wildlife being attacked or killed can be reported to LWT’s Wigan office on 01942 233976 or to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or online at www.rspca.org.uk