Is that, like, the end of days, when someone barbies a swan?
1. Wardens on patrol near Buckingham Palace found the charred remains of a dead swan on Sunday.
The carcass was found near standing water on Baths Island in Windsor. Park rangers called bird protection charity Swan Lifeline. Wendy Herman of Swan Lifeline describes the scene she saw:
It was just a carcass, it was all burnt. We could see that whoever did this had taken the breast out. It was done neatly, presumably to get at the meat. They had skinned it as well and possibly barbecued it there, on a disposable barbecue.
I felt sick when I saw it. How can someone do that and leave it where they did? I would have been devastated if I had been walking along there with my little boy and he had seen that.
4. Not great, huh?
Thames Valley police are investigating, but are treating the crime as theft, rather than murder or treason.
5. Contrary to some people’s belief, you can’t be hanged for killing a swan.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 does make harming a swan a crime, though.
6. The likeliest punishment is a £5,000 fine and a six month jail sentence, if the perpetrator is caught.
7. In the past killing a swan was classed as treason - and the punishment would be much worse.
The Crown took ownership of all swans from the 12th century, which meant that killing one was likely to get you hanged. Not today though.