A FAMILY of popular swans have mysteriously vanished from Bridgwater's docklands area with rumours circulating they have been killed and eaten.

At least ten swans and cygnets were once a regular sight near the Admiral's Landing pub, but according to neighbours the flock has been gradually disappearing - and now there are none left.

Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger told the Mercury he had heard rumours the birds, which are protected by the Queen, had been caught to be cooked and eaten.

Waverley Road resident David Langley said he had heard the same allegation from a local angler although the Mercury could find no evidence to back up the claims.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “If these rumours are true it is a highly illegal practice and we are proud of our swans in Bridgwater.

“I will be keeping an eye on this and whoever is responsible will be in big trouble.”

Mr Langley added: “I have been pulling my hair out trying to get something done about this.

“I think it's disgusting this could be happening and I want to others to report these killings so they can be stopped.”

The RSPCA said it had attended two swan-related reports in the area since November but one swan had died from natural causes and the other was trapped in ice.

RSPCA spokeswoman Jo Barr said: “Often these incidents are reported second-hand so if anyone does have information on swans being harmed please contact us or the police.”

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said the swans might simply have moved somewhere else.

THERE has still been no sign of the two female geese which went missing from their home on the River Parrett in November, according to the landlady of the Parrett Inn Lisa Varcoe.

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