More swans have gone missing from a Weymouth bird reserve.
A week after the Dorset Echo reported the sad news that a family of mute swans were feared dead after being taken from the RSPB Radipole Lake reserve, it has been revealed that more of the protected birds have been targeted.
Swan warden at Radipole Lake Derek Davey claims a further nine birds, including some cygnets, have been stolen by thieves. This is on top of the seven which were taken previously and reported to police.
Police have said there is nothing to suggest the original family of swans were stolen.
The RSPB has also suggested an animal could be responsible, but that it was a 'mystery'.
Mr Davey is adamant that human thieves are at work.
He would not speculate on why the swans are being removed and by whom but said it was possible the birds were being targeted for food.
He has again asked people to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour.
Swans are protected under the 1981 Wildlife Countryside Act which makes it illegal to keep or kill them.