ANIMAL-lovers were left horrified after they found the mutilated body of a decapitated swan.
The 12-month-old cygnet was found on the canal towpath at Church Kirk on Monday morning by a woman who often fed it.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: "I used to be a veterinary nurse and when I brought the swan home I could tell it had been attacked by a fox or a dog and that someone had tried to disguise its injuries by getting rid of its head and neck.
It looks as though they had been chopped off with a machete. It is so sad."
RSPCA inspector Andy Kench was called out to take care of the body.
He said: "This is the second swan I have found mutilated like this in the last week. It is very sad to think that someone could set a dog on a defenceless bird. It is very likely that the same dog caused the injuries to both of the dead swans we have found.
"We are now unsure if any of the swans in that family are still alive, which is very disappointing when we work so hard trying to release them back into the wild."