Police believe a swan found dead near Chesterfield had been shot twice previously.
The bird was found in a lake just off Seymour Link Road, Markham Vale, on Saturday.
A Derbyshire police wildlife crime officer removed the swan from the lake this morning and took it to Spire Vets to try and find the cause of death.
“It looks like the swan had injured itself when landing and hitting something solid and maybe sharp causing a clean cut right under the wing,” a post on the Derbyshire Constabulary Wildlife Officer Facebook read.
“The swan has then bled to death. This will explain the amount of blood.
“The swan was not attacked by a dog or any other animal or person.
“The X-ray did show that the swan had been shot twice, but these pellets were from some time ago. One so long ago that calcification had started to produce around the pellet. This would have taken some time to produce around the pellet. The other pellet was a lot more recent and in the other side of the swan.
“These did not kill the swan or contribute to its death. These were air gun pellets.”
The posted added: “Someone at some point in the past has shot this swan causing injuries to it.”
Marie Grainger, 48, of Poolsbrook, had gone for a walk when she found the bird.
She said she ‘could not believe it’ and hoped the swan had not died as a result of being shot.
“I do not want to believe that someone could have done this,” Marie said.
“There is a lot of people upset by the death of this swan.
“There has been loads of people who have come to try and do something.
“It is very sad because its mate is on its own now.”
In October we reported how police were increasing patrols after a squirrel, a duck and an owl were all found dead at Ringwood Park, Brimington. The duck was decapitated and set on fire while the other deaths involved an air rifle.
And in March 2017 we reported how a goose has been shot with a crossbow at Poolsbrook Country Park.
Marie said that she made several calls to the police on Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning before the swan was taken away.
“I just wish we could have more patrols like park wardens,” she added.
“I have lived around here for a long time as have many other of the locals and we just care about the area.”
The police thanked Spire Vets for their help and asked anyone with information to call Derbyshire police on 101 and ask to speak to PC 2581.