The USPCA has issued a £500 reward for information that can bring about the conviction of the person responsible for killing a swan by firing a crossbow bolt into its head at close range in Co Antrim.
The horrific incident happened on Monday at Antrim Marina, and although the bolt struck the creature between the eyes it survived for some time going through what a USPCA official described as “unimaginable suffering”.
David Wilson said: “The crossbow bolt struck the creature between the eyes, but death was not instant. Although mortally wounded the distressed bird evaded attempts at capture and has now been found dead. It succumbed to a lingering death with unimaginable suffering.”
He added: “Feeding these swans is a popular family pastime, they are trusting of humans. The low life that derived perverted pleasure from committing this appalling act must be found.
“The USPCA are putting forward a reward of £500 for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible. Please contact PSNI directly or call the USPCA on 028 3025 1000 and we will pass your suspicions to the relevant authority.”
Alliance Antrim Councillor Neil Kelly commented: “It is disgusting someone would apparently attack a defenceless animal and in such a way. Anyone who would do so is clearly a dangerous individual.
“The seeming use of such a serious weapon as a crossbow lends this incident an even more sinister edge. This vile brutality towards animals should have no place in a decent society and it’s difficult to comprehend the mind of someone who would willingly partake in such behaviour.
“I would encourage anyone who has information on this incident to report it to police immediately so the perpetrator can hopefully be stopped from carrying out any further similar incidents.”