RSPCA officials are investigating after they found a Heron on June 2nd in a pool of blood on Railway Road in Old Trafford.
The Heron had been shot in the skull and neck with an air rifle according to RSPCA officials who tried hard to keep the bird alive, sadly it had to be put to sleep.
After an x-ray the bird was also found to have a broken leg, it is not clear at this time how the Heron ended up on the road although it is likely to have flown from a narby canal which is close to Manchester United FC stadium.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Steve Wickham said: “The bird was alive and stood in a pool of his own blood when I picked him up but I didn’t know what had caused the injuries until he was x-rayed. He must have been suffering terribly with severe wounds to the skull and neck.
“The wounds were fresh so I believe he was shot shortly before I arrived at 10.30 pm. His broken leg could have been an old injury at this stage, we are not sure. It is a despicable act of cruelty that someone with an air rifle has decided to shoot this lovely bird twice and left it dying in pain and helpless in the street.
“This is a busy residential area and I am hoping someone saw something or can help me identify who shot the bird. It is also worrying for residents that someone armed with an airgun is taking pot shots in this area.”
It is believed the bird may have been resident at the nearby Bridgewater Canal. Anyone with information should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.