A lady from Maryport has offered a large cash reward to anyone who can catch the person(s) who killed two swans.

The swans which resided in the coastal town were much loved by residents and said to be iconic. However in recent days they have been killed with what is believed to be an air rifle.

A lady is now offering £1,000 to catch whoever was responsible for the crime. She said: "It's a terrible thing, people have always loved the swans and fed them and then suddenly comes along and does that. It's an awful thing to do everyone is disgusted and they're talking about it in the town all the time."

A number of ducks have also been found dead and seagulls were seen by the harbourside with injured wings. When the swans were found they were taken to a wildlife trust by concerned residents but were dead on arrival.

Two men in a van had been seen near the River Ellen by Mote Hill where the swans have made their home for many years.

It is illegal to kill wild birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The fact that these two animals are swans makes it more serious as they are property of the Queen, making it a criminal damage case.

Our source told us that the two birds have always been a big feature in the town and people would often discuss them with one another.

She explained that she is offering this large sum of cash in hopes that whoever is responsible will be brought to justice for what they have done.

The lady went onto explain her devastation with what has happened and says that the birds are 'part of our town.'

She added that she hopes other people will add to the fund making it a bigger chance that the crime will be properly dealt with.

The Police have urged anyone who knows anything about this to contact them immediately on 101 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency it is essential to call 999.