Police hunt sick jokers who put a SOCK over swan's head

Police launched a manhunt for the 'mindless' thugs who almost suffocated a swan by putting a sock over its head and neck.  

The bird was left in the dark after the black sock was placed over its head as it swam in the Catchwater Drain in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

The swan had a lucky escape after the incident was reported to the Yorkshire Swan and Rescue Hospital, which quickly came to free the bird on Sunday. 

Lincolnshire Police said if the Swan and Rescue Hospital had not intervened, the bird could have starved, or even suffocated, inside the tight-fitting sock which reached halfway down its neck.

Lincolnshire Police is now working with RSPCA to appeal for witness to the incident, in order to bring the cruel pranksters to justice.

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take wild birds except under licence.

The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.