Swan with sock 'deliberately' pulled over head in 'mindless prank' would have died if not for the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital

A swan which had a sock pulled over its head and neck would have died had it not been rescued, the RSPCA said.

The swan was spotted at Catchwater Drain in Lincoln.

The bird was spotted in the Catchwater Drain in Lincoln on May 2 and was reported to police by the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital.

Lincolnshire Police said they believed the sock had been put on the animal deliberately because of “how snug the fit was and how far down the neck of the swan the tube was”.

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RSPCA inspector Kate Burris said: “The consequences of this mindless prank could have resulted in this poor swan suffering over a long period of time and ultimately ended in their death.

The swan was spotted in the Catchwater Drain in Lincoln

“Given that this is the breeding and nesting season at the moment this could have also resulted in suffering and sadly death for any dependent offspring.”

Police are investigating alongside the RSPCA and have appealed for witnesses.

It is an offence to kill or injure wild birds without a licence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and offenders can face up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.