Animal lovers were left horrified after a swan’s head was torn off in a brutal attack.
The male swan was one of two that made Ashton Gardens in St Annes its home.
It would appear the swan had its neck rung and then its head pulled off
It is believed last week’s attack, which left the swan decapitated, was carried out by a human, rather than an animal predator.
And a Fylde Council spokesman said: “It would appear the swan had its neck rung and then its head pulled off.
“On inspection, it did not look like the rest of its body had been attacked.”
The spokesman added the attack was “a mystery”.
He said: “It’s likely to not be attacked by a dog as there would be injuries elsewhere on the body.
“The incident has been reported to police and we would urge anybody who knows anything about the attack to contact the police.”
The graceful birds are the property of The Queen and anyone who harms one may be prosecuted for criminal damage.
Killing or injuring a swan can result in a £5,000 fine or six months in jail.
Philip Green, owner of the Pavilion Cafe at Ashton Gardens, said: “It’s absolutely shocking and really disgusting if someone has done this on purpose.
“The swans are stunning and have really added to the park by bringing something new to the gardens, they mean a lot to many people who regularly visit the gardens.”
Fylde Council leader, Sue Fazackerley, said she “felt literally sick” when hearing about the swan’s death.
She added: “It beggars belief that someone could do this, words cannot describe the horror of it.
“I think there are going to be increased police patrols in the area now but if evil people are determined to commit such a crime then it’s hard to stop them as police cannot be there all the time.”
Fylde Council employs staff to regularly patrol the parks for general upkeep and to ensure rules of the facility are abided by.
Park staff have reported since the death of the male swan, the female swan – or pen – had acted in a “depressive fashion” before leaving Ashton Gardens.
Swans tend to mate for life and the female swan was nesting eggs before the brutal death of her partner.
A Fylde Council spokesman said: “Park staff think the female swan fell into a depression following the death of the partner.
“The pen has since flown away from Ashton Gardens and we do not know where it is. We hope for its return at some point.”