Police have launched a manhunt to catch a jogger was seen booting a newborn cygnet out of his way which later died from severe head injuries.
The man, in his 60s, was also seen kicking another young swan while jogging on Monday at around 5.30pm in Richmond Park, south west London. The second cygnet survived and escaped to the water.
Royal Parks Police said the runner kicked the baby swans out of the way instead of running around them, as they launched an appeal to find the suspect on Tuesday.
The newborn ‘desperately poorly’ cygnet was treated for brain damage at The Swan Sanctuary, in Shepperton, Surrey. But after spending two nights in intensive care, police confirmed he had died on Wednesday.
Royal Parks Police tweeted: ‘Sadly the cygnet died this afternoon, his injuries were too severe.
‘The suspect was seen to kick another cygnet, which thankfully managed to escape to the water’.
Police described the jogger as a white man, who was 5ft6, with balding grey hair, wearing black running shorts and a vest with a logo on it.
The Swan Sanctuary said last night: ‘Firstly we’d like to thank everyone who sent well wishes for this tiny little guy.
‘Despite our staff working with him around the clock his injuries were just too great for him to overcome and he passed away this afternoon.’
The sanctuary and police appealed to witnesses to come forward by dialling 07920 586546 and quoting ref 0705738/20.