RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a swan and herring gull were shot with a pellet gun at Cyfarthfa Park in Merthyr Tydfil.

A cygnet – which was found with fishing line wrapped around it, was taken to the vets on Thursday (25 July), however sadly it died at the vets. An x-ray revealed that it had been shot three times with a pellet gun.

X-ray swan shot three times - Merthyr July19A herring gull also died from a pellet shot wound to the chest which was attended by the RSPCA on 14 July.

RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper, who is investigating the two incidents said: “People need to remember the devastating consequences that shooting at animals with air guns can have. Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are potentially extremely dangerous for people as well.

“We would also like to remind members of the public that all wild birds, including swans and gulls, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take them except under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

“Following on from these concerning incidents we’re appealing for anyone with information as to who is responsible or anyone who saw anything suspicious to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.”

Gill Hampson, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s Biodiversity Officer, said security has been increased by the park staff and through patrols from local police.

She said: “All those involved with the management of the park including Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust are working together with increased patrols, regular contact with the police and other agencies to ensure the safety of our park. We would encourage anyone with any concerns to contact us at the Museum or Splashpad.

“We would also urge anyone who has seen anything suspicious to contact the police or RSPCA.”

For more information on what to do if you find an injured wild animal, visit the RSPCA website.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.