An appeal has been made by the RSPCA to find the person responsible for shooting a Grey Heron in the skull and neck with an airgun outside Old Trafford stadium in Greater Manchester. Despite being rushed away for emergency veterinary treatment, the bird had to be put to sleep to end any suffering.
The injured bird was found in a puddle of blood in the middle of Railway Road by Old Trafford, home of mid-table Premier League football club Manchester United, on Sunday 2 June. RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) Steve Wickham was sent to the incident and could see blood coming from the bird's head. Having swiftly been taken to a vet, an x-ray revealed that the heron had been shot in the skull and in the neck.
The bird also had a broken leg so the vet decided to put it to sleep. Wickham said: "The bird was alive and stood in a pool of his own blood when I picked him up but I didn’t know what had caused the injuries until he was x-rayed. He must have been suffering terribly with severe wounds to the skull and neck.