Category: Animal Abuse

Gang bludgeon swan to death with nail-covered stick ‘to eat’ after luring it ashore with bread


  • RSPCA warn of swan-poaching crimewave in Lincoln
  • Police launch hunt for five-strong gang


PUBLISHED: 07:39 EST, 15 March 2012 | UPDATED: 09:08 EST, 15 March 201


Callous poachers coaxed a swan to shore with breadcrumbs before clubbing it to death with nail-embedded sticks and taking it away ‘to eat’, it emerged today.

The gang of five was spotted throwing morsels of bread into Brayford Pool in Lincoln’s town centre to lure the curious bird towards them on Tuesday evening.

But seconds later they unleashed a furious attack onto the majestic animal before bundling its bloodied carcass into the back of a van and speeding off into the dusk.

Concern: This was the third such attack on swans in the area in six months, sparking fears of a swan-poaching crimewaveConcern: This was the third such attack on swans in the area in six months, sparking fears of a swan-poaching crimewave

Detectives have now launched a Lincoln-wide manhunt for the men after one terrified passerby witnessed the bloodthirsty killing unfold.

This was the third such attack on swans in the area in six months, sparking fears of a swan-poaching crimewave.

Lincoln has a large population migrants from Eastern Europe, where swan is considered a delicacy in some areas, but officers have refused to speculate on the nationality of the attackers.

The RSPCA suspect the only motive for targeting the colony on Lincoln’s Roman waterway is to eat them.

And with swans well-known to mate for life, there are also growing concerns for the dead bird’s confused and lonely partner, who the RSPCA say will be pining for its missing mate.

Charlotte Childs, of the RSCPA’s Lincolnshire Mid and Lincoln division, said: ‘We have no idea why someone would do something so disgusting but the only thing we can logically think of is if the swans are being killed to be eaten.

‘It could have just been an attack for fun, there’s no way yet of knowing. Either way, it’s horrific and inhumane.’

Historic: A colony of white swans has lived on Lincoln's historic Brayford Pool for hundreds of yearsHistoric: A colony of white swans has lived on Lincoln’s historic Brayford Pool for hundreds of years

She added: ‘We’ve heard of other attacks closer to the Brayford Pool.

‘Swans mate for life so there will be another swan out there pining for its mate. Often if a swan dies its partner will stay with the body for a long time.

‘Swans make deep, emotional attachments with their mate so now there’s the welfare of the other swan to think about.

‘Everyone needs to be pro-active now in looking after our swans. They’re a daily sight in the city and synonymous with the Brayford in particular. Not only that but they’re incredibly friendly.

‘It’s up to us all now to be vigilant.’

A colony of white swans has lived on Lincoln’s historic Brayford Pool for hundreds of years. A local legend decrees that if the swans ever leave the pool Lincoln’s Norman built Cathedral, which overlooks the waterway, will fall to the ground.

Recruitment consultant, John Rawnsley, 37, said: ‘Whenever I visit Lincoln I always go down to the Brayford Pool and see the swans. It is hard to imagine the city without them.’

Lincolnshire Police are trying to trace the black van. The first four digits of the registration plate are FS06. Spokesman, James Newall, said the force was working closely with the RSPCA.



The U.S. Navy is heading to court in Georgia, where environmental groups say plans for an offshore range for military training poses threats to endangered right whales.

A U.S. District Court judge was scheduled to hear arguments in the lawsuit Thursday in Brunswick. Both sides say the case should be decided in their favor without a full trial.

Environmental groups want to stop the Navy from building a $100 million range to train submarines, airplanes and warships 75 miles offshore from Georgia and Florida.

Opponents say that’s too close to waters used by right whales each winter to give birth. Only about 400 of the rare whales remain.

The Navy says it already takes precautions to avoid harming whales and the judge should strongly consider its needs for military readiness.

A PICTURE of Snow Patrol members swimming with a dolphin in Dubai has prompted a furious backlash from animal lovers across the world.


Scots guitarist Paul Wilson and lead singer Gary Lightbody were photographed with the “resident” dolphin at the  five-star, £350-a-night  Atlantis The Palm resort in the city.


But the PR stunt backfired after animal rights campaigners took to the internet to condemn the band for appearing to support keeping dolphins in captivity.

Lead singer Gary Lightbody and bassist Paul Wilson posed with resident dolphin at the famous Atlantis resort


The band, who formed in Dundee and have sold millions of records, were in Dubai to headline the city’s Sandance festival.


When the dolphin picture appeared, showing Wilson and Lightbody enjoying a “dolphin encounter”, it sparked a huge row.


One angry blogger, Danielle Marie, wrote: “So Snow Patrol, you endorse cutting off 90% of a dolphin’s life so people can swim with it in an aquarium while the animals dies after a short life from a performing marine version of a concentration camp.


She continued: “Cruel. How dare you? I demand you show humanity now if you possess it by stopping your support for these disgusting marine concentration camp equivalents.”


Another angry blogger, Thomas Reub from Germany, said: “What a pity, that movie stars who had shootings with animals, don’t know about the suffering those captured/captivity-bred dolphins encounter. Dolphins belong in their natural habitat, which can only be the ocean!”


The anger went as far as South Africa with one blogger taking to the net to voice her opinion on the photo-op.


She said: “Snow Patrol- dolphins in captivity are so not cool. They deserve their freedom as much as you – the right to live their full lives where they belong, in the ocean.”



Angry Tweets also started to pour in once the pictures were posted online yesterday.


One Tweeter in South Africa said: “If you’re a fan of Snow Patrol, please let them know that supporting the captive dolphin trade is not cool.”


The photo-op is a favourite with celebrities who visit the luxury resort, attracting the likes of The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright as well as Kelly Brook, UB40 star Ali Campbell and Colleen Rooney.


The resort offers the opportunity to swim with their resident dolphin for £150 and promises to be an “unforgettable adventure.”


The resort chose not to make a comment.


Sonar testing raises whale worries

By Bill Sheets, Herald Writer
EVERETT — Whale watchers and tour-boat operators are concerned about the effect the latest round of sonar testing at Naval Station Everett could have on marine mammals.

A loud “pinging” sound has been heard on board several different boats in the area, including the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry, over the past week and a half.

The sound was so loud that Carl Williams, a tour captain for Island Adventures, heard it on the third deck of his boat moored in Everett near Anthony’s restaurant.

“You can hear it while you’re walking on the dock,” he said.

It’s coming at a bad time, say Williams and others who keep an eye on marine mammals. It’s the beginning of the migratory season for gray whales, several of which venture into Possession Sound and Port Susan to feed on their way north.

At least one whale has been spotted in the area over the past week.

“It’s disturbing, it’s very disturbing,” said Susan Berta, co-founder of the Orca Network in Greenbank.

The testing was first heard Feb. 29 and has been heard several times since. It originated on the USS Shoup, a destroyer stationed at Naval Station Everett, said Sheila Murray, a spokeswoman for the Northwest region of the U.S. Navy.

The testing has been done on and off for years but is relatively infrequent and only takes place with special permission of the Pacific fleet commander in Hawaii, she said.

“The Navy’s been doing this type of activity as long as Navy ships have been in Puget Sound,” Murray said.

The Shoup was at the center of a sonar controversy in 2003. The ship was testing its mid-range sonar in Haro Strait between Vancouver Island and San Juan Island. At least 11 porpoises stranded themselves and died on a nearby beach at the time. A pod of killer whales also was seen “speed swimming” away from the ship, said Shane Aggergaard, owner of Island Adventures, which runs tour boats out of Anacortes and Everett.

Reports by the Navy and National Marine Fisheries Service were inconclusive on whether the sonar was connected to the porpoise deaths.

Passengers and crew on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry heard the pinging for about an hour Feb. 29, ferry spokeswoman Marta Coursey said.

Williams said he first heard the sound on his tour boat on Feb. 29 and two more times, the most recent being Wednesday. It continued for about three hours in the afternoon each time, he said.

“The first day it was louder and shorter, the second day not as loud but longer,” he said. On Wednesday, “it was not as loud but continuous.”

Howard Garrett of the Orca Network said he heard the sound onboard a boat with others in Possession Sound on Wednesday. The group put a hydrophone — a device used for listening to sounds from underwater — into the sound and connected it to a microphone.

“It still hurts my ears,” Garrett said the next day, adding that the volume was turned all the way down. “They slowly ramped up and lengthened the duration” of the pings over about three hours, roughly from 2 to 5 p.m., he said.

The group also saw at least one gray whale — he’s not sure if it was the same one seen twice or two separate whales, Garrett said.

At first, the sonar showed no apparent effect on the whale, which seemed to be feeding in the water near Tulalip Bay, he said. When the sonar grew louder after about 20 minutes, though, the whale turned and swam north toward Port Susan, Garrett said.

There’s a group of gray whales that visits Possession Sound and Port Susan on their migratory trip every year, whale watchers say.

Normally about a dozen stop over, said John Calambokidis of Olympia-based Cascadia Research. About six of them are the same whales every year and about six are different, as identified by photos, he said. A trio of regulars has been spotted so far this year, Calambokidis said.

He said that gray whales hear at a lower frequency than dolphins, porpoises and orcas, so the mid-range sonar of the Shoup might not affect them as much, he said.

“I don’t think we know what effect it might have in this circumstance,” he said.

Aggergaard said he understands the Navy’s need to test the sonar but said it shouldn’t be done during migratory whale season, which runs March through May.

“This group of gray whales that come in there are pretty unique, and we’re pretty protective of them,” he said.

Williams, the boat captain, said it could spook the whales from making future visits.

“The repercussion could be next year, we might not see them come back next year,” he said.

Murray said that before and during testing, the Navy stations someone on the ship to look for whales, dolphins or porpoises. Passive sonar and aircraft, if available, also are used.

If any whales or dolphins are seen within 1,000 yards the power on the sonar is turned down, she said. Within 500 yards the power is turned down more, and within 200 yards it’s turned off.

Sonar testing is specifically allowed by federal law off the coast of Washington, Oregon and Northern California, she said. It is not specifically allowed by law pierside but it is not prohibited, either, she said. It is not allowed in inland waterways or the Strait of Juan de Fuca, she said.

The Navy is applying for a permit that would specifically allow the testing pierside in Everett, she said. It would seek a waiver under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow some instances in which the sonar testing likely will in some way affect animal behavior.

Sonar is more essential now than ever in detecting newer, quieter submarines that are being used by more than 40 countries, according to a Navy website.

“Active sonar is the only effective means available today to detect, track, and target modern subs under all ocean conditions,” according to the site.

Maxfield fur 2012 shame

Welcome to Maxfield… and their 2012 collection

At the beginning of a campaign by Fur Free West Hollywood, celebrity-driven Maxfield agreed to remove and end the sale of all fur – like baby blankets and motor cycle helmets – from their West Hollywood store. They removed the fur, but then restocked it and actively oppose to a planned fur ban in West Hollywood by writing letters to the Mayor and other people of importance.

This Saturday (11th of February from 12 pm – 2 pm) Fur Free West Hollywood organizes an anti-fur protest outside Maxfield.

Important! Leading up to the protest we ask you to let Maxfield know what happens when they break their promise to the animals: send them as many protest mails as possible for the next 3 days and tell your friends to do the same!

* this is an action by Fur Free West Hollywood


Act now ►►► contact Maxfield LA:

  • Email them. Create your own message or simply copy and paste the example letter at the bottom of this page (don’t forget to sign it at the end) and send it to the address below.
  • Send them our example Facebook message.
  • Call and leave this page open. The example letter contains all the information you need!
  • Send a fax. Simply use the example letter below.
  • Share this action with your friends and ask them to send a protest mail to Maxfield as well.
  • Let us know when you receive a reaction in response to your email, fax, etc. You can reach us using our contact formFacebook or Twitter.

Contact details Maxfield LA:

8825 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, California

Phone: 00 1 310 274 8800
Fax: 00 1 310 657 8880