Published: March 6, 2011
Fresh leads in shootings probe as 'Save Our Swans' appeal begins

Several new leads are being examined by the police and RSPCA in the investigation into the shooting of 41 swans near Burnham-On-Sea.

As previously reported by, dozens of swans have been found dead after being shot by an airgun user in recent weeks - and there are now fresh hopes that the culprit could soon be caught.

Secret World Founder Pauline Kidner told on Sunday: "We have had several calls regarding a person seen in the area where the shootings have been taking place."

"This information has been passed onto the Police and RSPCA, who are leading the investigation, and further evidence is being gathered. We are hopeful that the person will be caught soon."

She added that the reward to find and prosecute the person - which stands at just over £26,000 - has now been frozen and any further donations will be put towards a new S.O.S. (Save Our Swans) Appeal Fund.

Pauline said: "Secret World has been amazed at the response to the terrible incident of the shooting of swans on the moors."

"People are feeling so helpless at such a cruel and wanton act and whilst we sincerely hope that we catch the person who has murdered these swans, we want to turn this horrible act into a positive."

She added: "That is why we are launching an S.O.S. Appeal - Save Our Swans - and anyone donating to the appeal will help swans that in the future have been injured by fishing tackle, in road traffic accidents or by hitting power lines."

"But, more importantly, it can go towards the education of children in the hope of teaching them to love and respect wildlife."

"Everyone here at Secret World has been touched by the huge response from people wishing to know the outcome for the surviving swan and any progress in the investigation and thank them for caring. Any information will help us - even the smallest detail could be the last piece in the jigsaw."

The Police and RSPCA are carrying out a full investigation with the information received and Secret World is dealing with any further sightings of dead or injured swans.

The £26,000 reward offered by concerned supporters includes £10,000 from Sir Terry Pratchett and £5,000 from Animal Friends Insurance.

Pictured, top, is Beauty the swan when she arrived at Secret World and, above, another swan being cared for


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