Swan killer yet to face justice after multiple birds shot dead

Police are yet to charge anyone with the shooting of two swans and several pigeons by the River Arle

Officers arrested and questioned a 17-year-old last month on suspicion of possessing of a firearm without a certificate, before later releasing him under investigation.

However, Hampshire Constabulary has since confirmed the situation remains the same "pending further enquiries".

The dead birds were found with 'multiple pellets' in their heads on a footpath adjacent to the recreation ground at the Alresford park on Monday, May 2.

The discovery initially sparked concerns over whether there had been a further outbreak of avian influenza, or bird flu as it is commonly known.

However, it was later confirmed the swans had been shot with an air weapon in what was described as a “heinous act”.

The swans were found by HART Wildlife Rescue, an animal hospital in Medstead - who were also called out to deal with an injured mallard and a wood pigeon in close proximixity.

Paul Michael Reynolds, HART Wildlife Hospital manager, said: 

“The initial concern was that avian influenza could be responsible, sadly it was confirmed by Swan Support who kindly removed the bodies for testing that the pair of swans had been brutally killed with an air weapon.

“They were a male and female pair. Each swan with multiple pellets in their head and neck. We were also called to two other injured birds, a wood pigeon and a mallard all within very close proximity and also on the river footpath."