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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Only surviving swan shot by sniper in Somerset slaughter finds a lovebird


Lovebirds: Solo, right, and her new mate, who she found within hours of being released back into the wild

A swan who survived after being shot in a mass slaughter of birds on the Somerset Levels earlier this year has found love.

Within hours of being released into a private lake, the female swan, named Solo, found a mate on the water.

The bird was nursed back to health by Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Somerset before being given a new home in the wild at a secret location and now appears to be in good health after several weeks of recovery.

Solo is the sole survivor of a month-long airgun killing spree that left over forty of the majestic animals dead.

She was found lying wounded with eight dead swans, shot in the head with airgun pellets, in a field outside Blackford in the Wedmore area of Somerset at the end of January.

Further carcasses were found in nearby Westham and Godney.

A spokeswoman from Secret World said: 'We are delighted to have such a happy ending to a distressing story and we hope Solo will find happiness with her new mate.'

Three men, aged 34, 37, and 45, have been arrested and bailed in connection with the shootings as police continue their investigation.

Happy ending: Solo, left, is the sole survivor of a month-long airgun killing spree that left over forty swans dead

Best-selling author Terry Pratchett had offered £10,000 to catch swan killers earlier this month - doubling the previous reward on offer for information.

Pratchett, 62, said: 'Nobody understands why this is happening. I'm at a loss, but I certainly don't think someone should be walking around shooting swans.

'I phoned up this morning and said "this is terrible", I was absolutely incensed. They are protected birds and have been for many years.

'I just don't understand the mentality. I can't see them (swans) doing much harm, and why someone would go and shoot them I have no idea.'

source: dailymail


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