RSPCA: Swan shot with cross bow in Lynemouth released back into wild

A swan shot with a cross bow in Lynemouth, Northumberland has been released back into the wild where her mate was still waiting for her after nine days apart.

The female swan had been in the care of Robson & Prescott veterinary centre in Morpeth since Monday 15 July. She was taken there by the RSPCA after being rescued from the River Lyne.

RSPCA inspector Trevor Walker said: “We got a call from a member of the public that a swan had a cross bow bolt through her neck and I went out to try and find her. It took a couple of visits before I spotted her and her mate. She was on the water so I requested the help of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, who were outstanding.”

Officers from Green Watch at Pegswood fire station came to the swan’s aid and were there again to witness her being returned to the wild.

Steve Richards, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue service, said: “Our crews are equipped and trained to respond to a variety of emergency situations. However the assistance given to the RSPCA in the rescue of the swan was somewhat out of the ordinary and assisted in a positive outcome on this occasion.”

The swan was brought to the release site by Sam Prescott, from Robson & Prescott veterinary centre. He said: “It was amazing that the bolt missed the swan’s oesophagus, windpipe and spine and passed through the soft tissue only. She was incredibly lucky.

“Today simply couldn’t have gone any better. To have her mate still here and the pair of them to swim off together is just magnificent. It was the perfect ending.”

The search goes on for the person responsible for the attack and anyone who has any information at all is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and leave a message for inspector Walker. He said: “This was an absolutely despicable act which has caused this swan a great deal of suffering.

“I can only presume the motivation behind this deliberate attack was entertainment.

“I hope anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, will contact me.”

To help support the RSPCA’s work then please text HELP to 78866 now to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).


Notes to editors

The photographs in this press release are the property of  NCJMEDIA SYNDICATION, Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1ED. To purchase, call photo sales on 0191 201 6009 or email:

Images of the swan with the cross bow bolt in her neck and x-ray images are available, please contact RSPCA senior press officer Leanne Plumtree. RSPCA inspector Walker is also available for further comment on request

Sam Prescott of Robson & Prescott veterinary centre is available for further comment by calling 01670 512275

Communications officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service  Ian Johnson can be contacted by calling 01670 620112

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS

Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099
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