A heron has been put to sleep after apparently being deliberately shot in Pevensey.
The bird was found injured and struggling in the river at Pevensey Bridge on Wednesday (10 August) by the RSPCA.
X-rays showed a pellet lodged in its spine and since this rendered the bird unable to stand or fly, sadly it had to be humanely destroyed.
Rother Police Community Support Officer Daryl Holter, who is also a wildlife and heritage officer for Sussex Police, has urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
He said, "It's believed the heron was a juvenile, approximately a year old. Herons are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and harming them is an offence.
"Had the injured bird not been found it would almost certainly have faced a debilitating death, possibly through starvation or drowning, and to shoot it in this way was a vile and senseless act."
Anyone who saw anything suspicious or who may be able to identify the person responsible is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting serial 487 of 10/08.
Alternatively, they can contact the RSPCA or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.