The RSPCA is appealing for information after a dead duck was found with four gun pellets inside its body.
The body of a mallard duck was fished out of the canal near the Stanney Mill Lane area of Ellesmere Port on Sunday, 18 October.
It was later x-rayed at a wildlife centre, where the four gun pellets were found.
RSPCA inspector Lisa Lupson said that the discovery of the duck follows a spate of dead waterbirds – including six waterfowl, two coots and a moorhen – found in the canal, pictured right, in the last few weeks.
She said: “A member of the public reported to us that they had seen a group of youths in the area with a pellet gun.
“It is unusual for this many birds to be found dead in the same part of the canal in a short time and, while we have not been able to confirm what the other birds died from due to being unable to reach them, we are concerned that all of the birds have been harmed deliberately.
“Attacks like this are serious and whoever shot the duck has committed an offence which is punishable by law. Anyone who has any information on the incident should contact us on 0300 123 8018.
“We are grateful to the member of the public who contacted us about this as the public are our eyes and ears. If you witness anything which results in an animal suffering, we urge you to contact us straightaway.”
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).