The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has not ruled out a link to the so-called “Croydon Cat Killer” after dead swans were discovered in parks in south London, Sky News reported.
The RSPCA is investigating and extra patrols are in place following a spate of gruesome discoveries in Thamesmead, southeast London.
Two beheaded swans were found in Birchmere Park last month, while another was discovered at Southmere Lake.
Three cygnets also appear to have suffered the same grisly fate after they were reported missing in the area. All wild mute swans in Britain are considered to be the property of the Crown and it is illegal to kill one.
Anyone found guilty of trying to injure a wild bird, or kill or take it without a license, can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000.
RSPCA inspector Nick Wheelhouse said: "Park guards have informed me that they're aware of the deaths of three swans, three cygnets and one Canada goose so far in recent weeks.”
“It is really concerning because the birds seem to have been stabbed and then beheaded, with their bodies left beside the water. While it is a serious animal welfare concern itis also really upsetting for any of the park visitors, who make the grisly find."
An RSPCA spokeswoman said the swan deaths were not believed to be linked to the so-called Croydon Cat Killer, but that it has not been ruled out. More than 360 deaths of cats, foxes and rabbits have been recorded in Greater London since September 2015, and in most cases the animals have had their heads and limbs removed.