Police are hunting for the killers of a baby swan which was stoned to death.
On Friday a group of young people launched rocks at the cygnet which later died from its injuries near Bedford.
A witness reported the incident at a pond in the town to Bedfordshire Police who have launched an investigation, Bedfordshire Live reported.
Director of St Bede’s Ford Swannery, Joanne Gullon, said: “They didn’t see the swan as a creature – I’m dumbfounded to be honest.
“The community in Wixams are rightly very upset about this.
“People are very connected with wildlife – I think in particular with swans because I often get comments from people who pass the same family of swans every morning when walking.
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“They watch this family building a nest and raising their family and they become very connected and when things like this happen it’s devastating.”
Joanne called for those found to be responsible to undergo a psychological assessment.
“Anybody convicted of an offence like this should be referred for psychological assessment,” she said.
“If you find pleasure out of killing a baby animal by effectively stoning it to death then there’s something psychologically wrong with you.”
An RPSCA spokesperson said they would encourage anyone with information to share it with the police to assist their investigation.
North Bedfordshire Rural Community Policing said: “An investigation has begun after a cygnet was killed in Wixams, yesterday (July 16).
“We understand and share the outrage that this unacceptable, criminal behaviour has caused in the community.
“We are aware of a number of comments relating to this incident on social media and would urge anyone with information to contact us on 101 or via our website, quoting reference 40/37154/21.”