Swan and cygnets slaughtered in "sickening" shooting at Wigan beauty spot
A female swan and her five cygnets have been shot dead in a "sickening" attack at a Wigan beauty spot.
Wigan wildlife lovers have spoken of their disgust at the attack, which took place yesterday at Parsons Meadow.
Witnesses have reported seeing a "stocky man" in his 50s carrying a 12 bore shotgun in the area.
David Bretherton, local wildlife photographer and creator of the Wigan Wildlife community group, said: "It's absolutely devastating and sickening.
"They are only little fluffy balls, how can someone put a bullet through them?
"This person has just shot them and left them, it's so pointless.
"It's a crime to shoot wildlife and you aren't allowed to just carry a loaded gun around in a public place.
"Everyone needs to be really vigilant now, apparently this man is shooting a lot so hopefully someone will catch him.
"If anyone sees anything, we all have phones now, just take a picture if you can without the person seeing you.
"There's plenty of wildlife in Wigan, Kingfishers, dippers, everything. We are worried that this is going to happen again."
The male swan is believed to be uninjured, but rescue attempts are now being carried out to remove him from the area and to a place of safety.
It is the second time a swan has been shot at Parsons Meadow in two years.
The RSPCA has been informed.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.