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Laughing teen girls 'stone swans' in Northern Ireland park

Published 29/08/2016

Swans are legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act
Swans are legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act

Three girls have been reported to police over claims they were throwing stones at swans in Lurgan.

The incident allegedly happened on Sunday August 28 in Lurgan park.

Posting on an animal group Facebook page a woman reported that she had seen the girls aged between 14 and 15 throwing stones at an adult swan.

Swans enjoy statutory protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally injure, take or kill a wild swan.

She posted:  "The adult bird remained in an open winged position flapping as to distract.

"Two of the three girls were actively persistent in their relentless attack, even resorting to gathering handfuls of blinding (the small grey stones on pathway) the third held a mobile phone in her hand uncertain but was possibly recording it, she occasionally joined in when located a stone.

"They were laughing and screaming at the adult bird.

"It is a sad reflection on society that young people could partake in such a mindless act.

"The police can’t be everywhere nor can the park wardens. Responsibility lies with the mindless individuals."

Police said they investigated at the time but there were no sign of the girls in the park.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police received a third party report that a number of young girls were throwing stones at swans in Lurgan Park around 9pm last night, Sunday 28 August.

"Police checked the area, however there were no sign of any girls in the park."

The RSPB advises anyone who witnesses an offence against swans or other wildlife should contact their police Wildlife Liaison Officer through their local police station.

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