Another swan has been killed at a Wigan beauty spot, with appalled animal lovers hitting out at the apparently sadistic nature of the latest death.
Furious conservationists believe a male swan was lured to a bridge at the Amberswood green haven before a heavy object was thrown on top of it to kill it.
The circumstances of the latest swan death are a sinister development following a spate of incidents this year in which other beautiful birds were shot with air rifles or similar weapons.
Nature lovers have taken to Facebook to condemn the callous act of cruelty.
Photographer and wildlife enthusiast Steve Heaton said: “It seems that the swan has been lured to the bridge.
"The birds will come to that point because they are fed there by caring people.
“They’ve then thrown something heavy on top of it to kill it. That is pure evil.
“What on earth is wrong in people’s minds if they can do such a cruel thing to a beautiful swan? They must be sick in the head.
“I was at Amberswood on Monday and the female swan and four cygnets were there terrified.
“There have been swan deaths every year for a while now but this stoops to a new low.
"It’s demoralising and heart-breaking to nature lovers that our wildlife and their habitats are being destroyed.
“To deliberately throw something at any bird just goes to show that there are no depths these people are not prepared to sink to.”
Wigan Council said it did not appear the latest incident at Amberswood had been reported but expressed disgust at the swan’s death and urged residents to report animal cruelty to the RSPCA.
Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council said: “We do not know exactly how this swan has died and the council has not been made aware of this specific incident.
“However, we would like to remind people that we work closely with the RSPCA and the police on all cases concerning cruelty to wildlife in order to find perpetrators and prevent similar situations arising again.
“It’s extremely saddening to hear of such an incident and we encourage anyone who has concerns over the welfare of any wild animals to contact the RSPCA.”
Wigan’s wildlife has suffered a tough few years after severe grass fires at locations including the Flashes.
The RSPCA can be contacted on 0300 123 4999 or by visiting www.rspca.org.uk