£4000 reward for information after mother swan shot on Chesterfield Canal

Written by Phoebe Davis

Police have launched an investigation after a swan was shot in the head on Chesterfield Canal. 

The swan, named Hilary by residents of Turnerwood, was sitting on a full nest of eggs when she was shot with an air rifle on Thursday night.

A resident found her with four bullets in her head on Friday morning.

Hilary the swan was found with four bullets in her head (Image credit: Diane Gleeson)

Her mate, Stocky, was also shot and was left fighting for his life. He is now recovering at Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital. 

The hospital in Barlow, York, posted on their Facebook page that Stocky was “making a swift recovery against the odds, and we are delighted with his progress.”

Four ducks were also reported to have been shot dead on the canal. 

Hilary and Stocky on Chesterfield Canal before the incident on Thursday night. (Image credit: Jan Cope-Harris)

Turnerwood residents have rallied to find the killer of the swan, as Hilary was a much-loved member of the community. 

Residents have raised over £4000 as a reward for information on who killed the beloved bird. 

Jan Cope-Harris from South Anston in South Yorkshire has started a campaign on social media to find the perpetrators of the crime. 

Ms Cope-Harris said: “We are offering a substantial reward, someone must know something about what happened.”

“She (Hilary) was a sitting target and was sat on her eggs. They shot her multiple times in the head. They meant to kill her.

“It just concerns me that we have got a community, a village, and there are people like this walking around and doing this.

“The thing that I am really worried about as a nanny: are your children safe? Are your grandchildren safe? Are we safe going down there?”

It is an offence to injure, take, or kill a wild swan as they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

South Yorkshire Police said: “An investigation is underway after a swan and a duck were reportedly shot and killed in Rotherham.

“The birds were discovered by a woman walking along the Chesterfield canal at 8.20 am on Friday (1 May). Another swan is also said to have been shot and injured. 

“Officers are now carrying out enquiries including reviewing nearby CCTV footage. Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 quoting investigation 14/69336/20.”

Written by Phoebe Davis

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