Ardboe people have taken to social media to voice their outrage after a swan was found mute and injured at a house near the Old Cross.
The swan was taken Parklands Vets in Cookstown after a member of the public called the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [USPCA].
It was discovered there that the ‘beautiful creature’ had been shot, and three pellets had to be removed from its wing in a half-hour long operation performed by vet Liz Black.
Parklands vet Andrew Turkington told the Mail: “Somebody had reported that it wasn’t taking off and was walking around with a dropped wing.
“We took an x-ray of its wing and it had been shot around the elbow joint with a shot gun.
“It had a wound but fortunately no broken bones, so it’s all soft tissue - we basically flushed it and sutured the hole.”
It is expected that the female bird will now make a full recovery after it is transferred to the USPCA for rehabilitation.
But it could have been so much worse warned Andrew.
“If the elbow joint itself had been damaged then its likelihood of functioning in flight in the future would have been a problem,” he said.
Colleen Dowdall, manager at the USPCA, said the swan is expected to be transferred to their facility today, where it can recover before being re-released into the wild.
“This is a wildlife crime,” she said. “We would ask the public to keep an eye for this sort of crime and report it to us and the police.
“We are asking people to have a high regard for wildlife. If we don’t look after it, animals will become extinct.”
The USPCA will fund the swan’s treatment and has commended Parklands on their quick work.
“We would like to thank Parklands for their great work,” Colleen added.
Now local people are asking “who would shoot a swan?”
“Some very cruel and disgusting people,” said one woman online.
“What’s wrong with people?” asked another.
“So sad that someone would do this to a beautiful swan,” added another lady.