He was rushed to RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, in Norfolk, for treatment and x-rays showed the metal pellet had lodged in his head. He was then cared for and rehabilitated at the centre until he had recovered enough to survive on his own back in the wild.
Deputy chief inspector Jon Knight said:
“It was touch-and-go for his first few weeks with us, we really did not know whether he was going to make it. But luckily he pulled through, and was well enough to be returned to a similar area in the River Nene today.“This poor swan suffered a traumatic injury as a result of this callous and cruel attack.
”He was so peaceful and relaxed when I released him, and just sailed off into the morning sun as if nothing had happened, immediately back at home. The perfect release.
“These happy endings are definitely the best bit of the job. It is just so wonderful to see animals back out there in the wild – where they belong.”