Queen horror as swan SERIAL KILLER on the loose – police in desperate manhunt for sadist

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Since the 12th century, the English monarch has had the right to claim ownership to all unmarked mute swans swimming in open water in England and Wales. This right of ownership started as the birds were seen as a delicacy often served at royal banquets.

The Queen’s ownership protects the birds from violence, as anyone who injures, steals or kills a swan risks being prosecuted.

The monarch’s swans are counted each year during a traditional swan upping ceremony held in July on the Thames at Caversham.

But now, rescuer Carly Ahlen found the tortured birds which had been bludgeoned to death while their heads had been removed and never found.

Since the beginning of December, there have been three incidents involving swans, which are protected animals.

Ms Ahlen, founder of Gabo Wildlife Foundation, said: “Over the past month, an animal has been killed at the lake every 10 or 11 days.

“It’s always late in the evening, between 12 and five in the morning – I have no idea what someone is thinking to murder innocent animals like this.

“I am really angry. Swans are protected animals so this is a really big wildlife crime.

“Four animals getting killed, it is like a serial killer.”

Swans are protected as “wild birds” under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Ms Ahlen continued: “I deal with wildlife crimes almost every day but nothing could have prepared me for this.

“It was even more shocking knowing that a human had done this.

“From my experience, this was not done by an animal, they are clean cuts to the head.”

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Swans are not the only animals to be targeted by the sadistic killer as the body of a fox was found.

Ms Ahlen believes the fox was tortured before being shot and dumped in the lake.

She said: “It is notorious in this area. It is the lake of horror.

“People go there to interact with nature instead they are seeing this.

“I cannot imagine the people who may have seen this walking around there.

“The wildlife killings are becoming more frequent and gruesome, when I pulled out the fox from the lake and took his body to examine, I could see the terror etched on his face.”

The wildlife expert has installed a camera and is petitioning for an island to be built in the middle of the lake for animals to take refuge.

She continued: “They obviously need to be caught because they are dangerous to society.”

All incidents have been reported to the RSPCA and the Metropolitan Police.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “It is concerning to hear reports of dead wild animals found at Southmere Lake, and we are in contact with those who made the upsetting discoveries.

“We urge anyone with information to contact us on 0300 1234 999. They can also contact the police who have wildlife crime officers.”

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