RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after two grey squirrels were found injured and collapsed after being shot by an air rifle.
They were found at Sophia Gardens on the grass pitch near the Sports Council for Wales in Cardiff on Saturday (19 May).
RSPCA inspector Annie Simmonds said: “Shockingly these two squirrels were alive after being shot with an air rifle and had entry wounds between their shoulder blades.
“It is just so sad to see the suffering that one person with an air weapon can cause.”
The squirrels were taken to a vets, where sadly, on veterinary advice it was decided that to prevent any further suffering to put them to sleep.
Inspector Simmonds said: “We urge anyone with any relevant information to come forward, and contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
“It has been alleged that these air gun attacks on squirrels have been going on for some time, so it may be that someone has witnessed something at one point.”
The RSPCA is opposed to killing or taking wildlife – in circumstances where there is a proven case for controlling wild animals, we advocate the use of non-harmful methods of deterrence where possible. When legal, lethal control is carried out however, the RSPCA believes that such killing should be done humanely by trained, competent people, so that the animal dies without causing unnecessary suffering.
If you suspect that unnecessary suffering is being caused to an animal please contact the RSPCA’s animal cruelty hotline on 0300 1234 999 or call the police if you are concerned about the use of weapons. The police were also called and attended the incident location.
In 2017 there were 70 calls made to RSPCA Cymru in regards to air gun attacks – an increase from 61 in 2016. Calls alleging attacks have included wild birds, cats, wild mammals and dogs amongst others.
RSPCA Cymru wants to see England and Wales follow the lead of Scotland, where airgun owners and users have been required to have a licence since 1 January 2017.
Incidents in which an animal has been shot or targeted by someone using an airgun should contact the RSPCA’s national cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
For more advice on what you should do if you encounter an injured wild animal, visit our website at www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals
If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru investigate incidents such as this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.