TWO swans were found dead in the River Allen after being shot in the head.

Police are investigating after the male and female swans were found in the Brockington Area of Dorset.

A spokesperson for the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team said: “On Monday August 29 the body of a cob (male swan) was found on the River Allen in the Brockington area of Dorset.

“The cob had severe head trauma which is believed to have been caused as a result of being shot. A pen (female swan) was also missing from the same stretch of river.

“The pair of swans had two cygnets (young swans) and had been breeding on this stretch of river for over five years. The cygnets are safe and well but are being monitored closely. 

“On Wednesday September 7 the body of a swan was found further downstream. This is believed to be the missing pen.

“Both Swans were last seen alive on the morning of the Sunday August 28, so the suspected shooting is believed to have happened on the afternoon or evening of August 28.

“This is an appalling crime and has a huge impact of the local community as the pair were well known and respected.

“Mute swans are protected as wild birds under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act and under this law it is illegal to keep or kill them.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email or by calling 101 quoting reference 55220141214. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online or call them on 0800 555 111.”