Barbecued swan: Queen's bird killed near Windsor Castle
Police launch investigation to find swan killer as wildlife charity says it is 'absolutely disgusted'
ONE of the Queen's swans has been found barbecued with its flesh stripped off near Windsor Castle. The charred remains were found on Baths Island, a popular picnic spot, between Eton Wick and Windsor.
Volunteers from Swan Lifeline, a charity that cares for injured and sick birds, were called in to remove the carcass so that families visiting the island, which is home to 200 swans, would not see it.
"When I got there it was terrible, the swan had definitely been barbecued and was black - there was just a skeleton left," Swan Lifeline co-ordinator Wendy Hermon told the Daily Telegraph.
"It's absolutely disgusting, I can't imagine the kind of people that would do this. When I saw it I felt sick. The whole breast had been removed and it looked like it had been eaten for lunch.
"There was just a swan skeleton left, it was black and had minimal meat left on it.
"It's just awful when we're trying to nurse swans back to good health and set them free into the wild and you find one like this. Why have these people done this?"
Police have launched an investigation to find the culprit, who could face criminal damage charges. The Crown owns all wild, unmarked mute swans on that stretch of the River Thames and the birds are also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The discovery was made by a local borough community warden on Sunday. Patrols will be increased, according to the Windsor and Eton Express, which said that the discovery had "shocked" local residents. ·