Royal Queen’s Swans Decapitated: Grisly Crime Prompts 24-Hour Patrol To Catch Killer

The royal household had no comment on the mutilation of the mute swans which are protected under the 'Queen's royal prerogative.'

Swans in London
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock

The royal household had no comment on the mutilation of the mute swans which are protected under the 'Queen's royal prerogative.'

The Queen’s swans and a Canadian goose have been found decapitated in close-by locations in London and some believe it could be the same person who is killing cats in the same area. Locals are concerned that the person now responsible for killing the Queen’s swans is the same person who has decapitated hundreds of cats in the area. Police have not ruled out that possibility as of yet.

According to the BBC News, a total of six swans and a Canadian goose have fallen victim to some very evil person or persons. But the locals in Thamesmead say there’s been at least 10 swans decapitated since this ordeal started. The birds appeared to have first been stabbed and then beheaded, with the criminals leaving them beside the water’s edge in their grisly state.

The investigation into the death and mutilation of these swans is ongoing, but the locals are so upset over this that they’ve set up 24-hour patrols in an attempt to catch the killers of these swans. The Queen’s swans, which are mute swans, are protected under the “Queen’s prerogative,” according to the BBC.

While it is horrendous to see the destruction of these beautiful birds, it is also concerning to law enforcement officials that people who are coming to the park to enjoy the surroundings stumble upon this gore. It can be very disturbing to see, according to the Metro.

Along with the round-the-clock citizen patrols, police have beefed up their presence in the areas where these swans were found. Warning signs will also be posted in the areas that harbor the swans.

The first mutilated swan was found by a dog walker about a month ago and it has continued since then. Despite the varying reports of the numbers of decapitated swans found, there is at least six with possibly 10 since this started. The swan population is waning, according to the locals, which indicates there may be more swans taken away and killed, suggests the Metro.

One of the people who organized the Thamesmead Swan Patrol, Danny Mercer, said, “Over the past few weeks around ten birds have been killed in and around the Thamesmead area.” Earlier in the week, two swans were found butchered and gutted for their breast meat, with the rest of their bodies thrown near the lakeside.

Mercer said the head removal is done in the same pattern as the cat killer that has been terrorizing the neighborhoods in that area for quite some time now. Decapitated pet cats have been left on doorsteps of the local owners of the pets.

It is a serious animal welfare concern for authorities, as the killing of these swans is against the law and if caught the suspects could face time in prison. If the suspect or suspects are caught, they can face up to six months in prison and a fine of thousands of dollars. The birds are protected under law. According to the BBC,

“Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, anyone prosecuted for deliberately trying to injure, kill or take a wild bird can face up to six months in prison and a potential fine of up to £5,000 [about $6,700].”

According to the Independent, the Croydon cat killer is linked to hundreds of deaths since 2015. It is believed the person who has slaughtered the cats has killed somewhere around 400 felines since that time. The cats are decapitated and left on the front stoop or the roof of a car for the owners to find. Because of the way the cats are beheaded, it is believed that it is the same person who is killing all the cats, as the method is the same. Today some of the locals are concerned that the Croydon cat killer has now turned into a swan killer. While police have not made that link, they have not ruled it out as of yet.