Councillor's anger after swan is 'battered to death' at side of River Don by 'evil' thugs in Mexborough

A pair of ‘evil’ thugs who battered a swan to death in Mexborough have prompted mass outrage from residents and councillors.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 14th October 2019, 4:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 5:14 pm
The swan which was killed in Mexborough on Sunday. Picture: Sean Gibbons

Police were alerted by a member of the public to two men repeatedly hitting a swan with a wooden plank at the side of the River Don canal path in Mexborough on Sunday afternoon.

Officers say the two men left the scene shortly after 1.45pm and were seen heading to the George and Dragon pub on Church Street. CCTV is being checked in the surrounding area in order to identify the men.

The incident prompted a huge response in Mexborough and ward councillor Sean Gibbons said they are aiding police in order to catch the suspects.

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He also said he had heard reports of a previous attack on a swan with a crossbow.

“We’re all absolutely appalled by this – the people who’ve done this are evil and must be brought to justice for battering a swan to death,” he said.

“They’ve been targeting swans and we believe this one was killed with a plank of wood. I honestly don’t know what goes through people’s heads to kill such a beautiful animal.

“It’s raised concerns again for us councillors, myself, Andy Pickering and Bev Chapman that we need more policing for the town and resources. This isn’t just boots on the ground but when trying to report stuff because you wait ages on 101.

“It took a while for the guy who witnessed this horrific incident to get through to the police.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Officers were called at around 1.45pm on Sunday, October 13 by a member of the public who had witnessed two individuals killing a swan.

“The suspects, believed to be male, were reportedly seen hitting a swan with a stick on the River Don canal path.

“The two suspects are then believed to have left the scene heading towards the George and Dragon pub further along the canal path.

“An investigation is underway and anyone with any information should call police quoting crime reference number 14/155254/19.”