AN angling group has spoken of its shock and disgust after six ducks were shot dead using a high-powered pellet gun at a popular fishing lodge.
The sniper targeted the animals living and nesting at Widows Flash, in Spring View, killing some of the birds with a shot to the head before leaving the bodies floating in the water.
Tommy Cummings, who looks after the facility which is home to the Nor-West Disabled Angling Association, made the grim discovery when he unlocked the gates at the lodge at around 7am on Friday morning.
He immediately reported the incident to the RSPCA and is now appealing for anyone who may have seen the shooter to come forward.
Mr Cummings, 74, said: “It’s absolutely terrible. I’ve just got no answer for why someone would do such a thing.
“When I walked in on Friday morning and saw what had happened it was just unbelievable. They had shot the mothers which nest at the lodge and the youngsters.
“It’s obviously a strong, high-powered rifle and I think it must have telescopic sights on it too. For someone to be able to hit a duck in the head they must be good at shooting.
“If someone had taken them to eat that would be partly understandable, but to just shoot them and leave them floating in the water where the kids who come here with their families will see them is something I just can’t understand.”
Mr Cummings says the shooter must have entered the site some time after 9pm on Thursday evening when it was locked up and before Friday morning.
He says he has since asked residents in neighbouring streets to keep an eye out for any suspicious presences, though so far no other disturbances have been reported and some wild ducks have started to make their way back to the lodge.
Anglers have worked hard to turn the Constantia Street site into a tranquil facility with paths and fishing pegs which are accessible for people in wheelchairs, with their efforts landscaping the lodge seeing wildlife including ducks, moorhens and coots move in.
The RSPCA said it had received a report of six ducks being found dead at the lodge and asked for anyone with information which would assist the investigation to get in touch using the appeal line 0300 123 8018.
Anyone who witnesses an act of animal cruelty or neglect or suspects animals are suffering should contact the RSPCA by ringing 0300 1234 999 or filling out a form at www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/contactus/reportcruelty/online