The RSPCA is investigating suspicions that two swans found dying by a canal were poisoned.
The birds, which have royal protection under the Countryside and Wildlife act, were spotted in distress by members of the public near a towpath in Church.
They were taken to a vet but unfortunately had to be put down.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “A concerned member of the public called the RSPCA to report two adult swans that looked very lethargic near a canal at Peel Bank, Church, Accrington.
“With the help of the member of the public the swans, along with their cygnet, were collected by an RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer and taken to a local vet.
“Sadly the vet decided the two adult swans had no chance of survival as their condition had deteriorated and they were slipping in and out of consciousness.
“The cygnet has been transferred to an RSPCA wildlife centre. Neither swan appeared to have any physical injury and one route the RSPCA is investigating is that the swans may have been poisoned. We are grateful that this was brought to our attention.”
Church councillor Joan Smith said: “We’ve got lovely towpaths for people to walk along and we also have some really nice wildlife areas. I think it’s terrible that these swans were poisoned.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999.