Swan and duck attacks in Lincolnshire 'on the increase'

Rescued ducklings
Image caption More than 100 ducklings have been rescued over the past few weeks

Animal welfare officers are stepping up patrols around Lincoln after reports of attacks on ducks and swans.

Lincolnshire Police officers are working with the RSPCA to find the attacker of a swan with a piece of wood on Brayford Pool in Lincoln.

RSPCA officer Charlotte Childs said she had also received reports of people kicking ducks against a wall in Lincoln city centre.

Anyone with information about the attacks should contact police.

Talking about the swan attack, PC Nick Willey, wildlife crime office for Lincolnshire Police, said: "It's unbelievable to think someone can pull up in the middle of Lincoln city centre, get out and use a length of wood to batter a swan and then drag it into the back of a van and drive off.

"It is very distressing for members of the public and for myself as a wildlife officer to see this beautiful bird targeted in such a way."

'Defenceless creature'

Ms Childs said the RSPCA had noticed a rise in attacks against birds.

"This does seems to be rapidly on the increase," she said. "We've had attacks from children to grown men.

"Inflicting pain on a defenceless creature is nothing other than cruelty and cruelty does seem to be on the increase."

Alison Townsend, Weirfield Animal Hospital near Lincoln, said she was currently caring for about 100 ducklings, rescued over the past few weeks.

"They have been left to die after their mothers were deliberately taken from where the family was nesting," she said.

"The biggest problem we have is that at this stage, the ducklings are not waterproof and if they are left on the water on their own, they will die."

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