Essex

Swan decapitated in attack at park in Essex

A swan has been found decapitated at a park in Essex and a large dog is suspected of being responsible.

The male swan was found by dog walkers at Northlands Park in Basildon on Saturday morning.

The swan's head and neck were missing and bite marks were found on the body, council animal control officer Sarah Moran said.

"We examined the body and it appears the swan was either killed or at least moved by a big dog," she said.

"The bite marks were too big for a fox and the chances of a fox attacking a swan are very slim.

"What makes it worse is that swans pair for life.

"Whilst I was at the park on Saturday, the female swan was looking for her mate and visiting the site of the attack."

Youths with their dogs were spotted in the park on Friday evening.

Council and police officers are now trying to establish what happened.

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