A TOWN has been left in shock after four beloved swans died after being injured in a callous attack.

Essex Police is continuing its probe into the incident in Grange Hill, Coggeshall, on Monday night.

Officers had been called to the area and found three birds dead.

A fourth injured swan was taken to a vets but could not be saved.

The Coggeshall community has been left in shock.

Tom Walsh, Braintree councillor for Coggeshall said: “Like others I was absolutely shocked and horrified.

“It’s very unusual for someone to do something like that and as an amateur photographer myself I couldn’t believe it.

“They really are a much-loved feature and I hope investigations lead to the perpetrators being caught.

“I don’t understand why someone would want to do something like that, it is unfathomable.

“Many residents go down there to watch the swans and everyone in the town is in shock.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

So far, no arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called to a disturbance in Grange Hill, at 8.30pm on Monday January 2 after a member of the public had found one injured swan on the riverside and three swans which had died nearby.

“We are now investigating the circumstances around their deaths under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Protection of Wild Birds).

“We need anyone with information on the incident or doorbell and dashcam footage of the area overnight between 8pm and 8.30pn on January 2 to get in contact.

“Please quote crime reference 42/892/23.”

A spokesman from the RSPCA said: “We share our space with wildlife and need to show respect and kindness.

“Animals feel pain, just as we do. It’s distressing to think anyone could take pleasure from firing items such as a catapult at a living creature.

“Such unnecessary and callous attacks can cause a lot of pain and distress, and are often fatal.

“Anyone with information about those responsible for animal cruelty should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or visit www.essex.police.uk/digital101.