A swan has reportedly been shot dead on a canal in Royal Wootton Bassett.
The female bird was found near Binknoll Lane by local residents who sought urgent help at around 3pm after noticing it lying motionless.
But their efforts were in vain as once a local rescue centre team managed to get to it, it was already deceased.
Witnesses who attended the scene report the swan to have had a number of wounds to its head, which was covered in blood.
It’s believed the bird was shot several times with a firearm, thought to be an air rifle.
Wiltshire Police is said to be investigating the incident, and the RSPCA have been informed.
On social media, a number of people have come forward claiming cars and cats have been shot with ballbearing in recent days and weeks, with police investigations underway.
A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “At 5pm yesterday (20/03) we received a report of a Swan that appeared to have been shot dead in the canal near Bincknoll Lane, Royal Wootton Bassett.
“The dead swan was removed from the canal and has been removed by a local animal sanctuary.
“We would like to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time who may have seen someone with an air rifle.
“Anyone with information should contact us on 101 quoting log 54210026564.”