A STUNNED runner has called for action after she discovered a decapitated swan while out on a jog.

Louise Emblin said she was horrified when she spotted a lifeless bird in a field near Scours Lane in West Reading, on Saturday, February 25.

A swan support charity has revealed it is not the first time a swan has been killed in the town recently, after a helpless bird got its head trapped on a metal post which was left in the river by bungling contractor.

On Saturday, Ms Emblin clambered through some barbed wire to get to the bird, which at first she suspected was wounded, and was devastated when she realised its head had been hacked off.

The 39-year-old searched the nearby area to see if the poor swan had chicks roaming around, when she found a clump of feathers near the water.

She told the Chronicle: “I was quite tearful because I was so upset that someone would do that to an animal.

“I went to touch it to see if I could help it. I touched the back and then walked round to its front and there was no head.

“When I went back, I wanted to check there were no babies. There was a massive clump of feathers where it had been dragged out from the river.

“Someone has done that, they’ve dragged a swan out of the water and killed it.

“They still haven’t found the head.”

Ms Emblin has urged residents to be vigilant and contact the Swan Lifeline Charity if they see anything suspicious.

She added: “It’s a very popular area for children. If people see that happening, they need to ring the police or the charity.

“People need to be vigilant when they are walking down there.

“My concern is people need to know the number to call if they find an injured swan.”

Richard Stokes, from Swan Lifeline, said it is not the first time he has been called to fetch a dead swan in Reading in recent months, although the circumstances were different.

Shortly before Christmas, a swan got its head stuck in metal posts which had been left following repair works to the jetty near Caversham Bridge.

By the time Mr Stokes arrived, it was too late to save the bird.

He said: “They left the metal stakes in the water.

“A swan put its head down and couldn’t get it back out.

“It was frantically trying to get free.

“It died in the end.”

Speaking about the incident on Saturday, he added: “We are pursuing it,”

The spinal cord was cut straight through and the wind pipe was severed.

“It is very suspicious and we are pursuing it.”

Anyone with information about the swan in Scours Lane should call the police on 101 or contact Swan Lifeline on 01753 859397.

A spokesman for the charity added: “We would like to appeal for information from any member of the public who was walking near Scours Lane in Reading early Saturday morning.

“We were called to collect a swan that had been decapitated in the field. We were unable to find the head.

“From the nature of the injuries, we believe this was the result of human intervention.”