AN ANIMAL welfare group is pleading with the public not to leave food on the roadside after another swan was found dead.

Swan Support received a call from Thames Valley Police after a bird was run over on Richfield Avenue in Caversham on December 21.

It is the fourth swan to be killed in the last six months and it is thought the animals are being lured out of the water when people leave food for them.

Wendy Hermon treatment and rescue co-ordinator for Swan Support, said: "It is really kind of people to want to feed the animals but I would like to ask people to feed them in the water.

"It is dangerous and it is making them vulnerable to the traffic and and dogs.

"Unfortunately members of the public think they are being kind by leaving lots of food on a small roundabout yards from the river. Of course the swans know it is there so have to walk in the road to get to it.

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Police contacted Swan Support after a member of the public reported the injured animal.

Other birds have been killed or injured in similar incidents and the charity is hoping people will stop leaving food by the roadside.

Wendy added: "In the last six months we have had four die and a few weeks ago we had another one that was run over but somehow managed to survive.

"It had black tire tracks on it's neck, but we released it back into the wild after realising it had not suffered any long lasting injuries.

"The police called us about the swan on Richfield Avenue, but when we arrived there was nobody with the animal so they might have witnessed it but left before we could ask."

"People need to be more careful when they are driving in this area in particular and should know that we have a lot of wildlife in this area."

If you see a swan in distress, call Swan Support on 07968 868172.

Thames Valley Police has been approached for comment.