The City of Stirling has vowed to step up security patrols at a local park after a decapitated swan was found this morning.
Leigh Locke said she was “mortified and hurt” when her partner Adam made the discovery on his morning walk.
She said the swan was well known to locals after it took up residence in the park following the death of its mate more than a year ago.
The animal had been known to wander among group fitness classes and children playing in the park.
“Everyone that’s in that park knows about the swan," she said.
"It would just walk around us. Now I’m concerned because now you’ve got some ratbag over there that’s chopping an innocent animal’s head off,” she said.
Stirling mayor Giovanni Italiano described the swan’s injuries as “disgusting”.
The mayor said the bird's head was found at Stirling Civic Gardens about 7am and the body was located in a nearby bin several hours later.
“It’s just a blatant act of cruelty by some idiotic perpetrators who have got nothing else better to do,” Mr Italiano said.
“I’ve lived in the area for 60 years and I was raised across the road from that park. This is the first time ever that I have seen or heard of anything so cruel happen to any wildlife.”
Mr Italiano said police were now investigating and urged anyone with information to come forward.
The mayor has requested extra patrols by his rangers and security staff.
“I’ve told my staff I want security stepped up because I don’t want this to happen again,” Mr Italiano said.
“These perpetrators may think they’ve done it once and they’ll get away with it again.
“I’ve spoken to my rangers and told them I want security and surveillance stepped up until such a time we are sure that nobody else is going to be a copycat.
“These people have got to be brought to justice.”
The RSPCA has confirmed the injury was inflicted by a person and urged anyone with information to contact them on 9209 9300.