A BABY swan has died after it was shot with an air gun.

The bloodied body of the cygnet was discovered in its nest on the Elemore Golf Course in Houghton-le-Spring on Sunday..

The RSPCA was contacted and Inspector Terri-Ann Fannon went to collect the body.

She said: “This poor cygnet is only around six weeks old and was sitting on its nest when it was targeted in this senseless attack.

“A member of the public was extremely upset when she discovered the bird’s bloodied body laying on its nest on the smaller of two lakes at the golf course.

“She took the bird’s body home with her as well as the metal pellet from the air gun before calling us.”

The animal welfare charity has now launched an investigation and is calling for any witnesses to come forward.

Insp Fannon said: “It’s utterly disgraceful to shoot and kill this beautiful bird.

“As well as being cruel and completely unnecessary, it is also illegal.”