A mother swan has been savaged and killed by a dog in front of a number of onlookers in a park.
The female swan, which recently hatched three cygnets, was attacked by a ‘lurcher or greyhound’ type dog at Yarrow Valley Country Park in Chorley.
The dog was off its lead when the tragedy happened on Wednesday afternoon.
It was witnessed by a woman, who saw the dog run down the hill to the sandy bank of Birkacre Lodge.
It is thought the mother swan was out of the water protecting its three cygnets.
Witnesses told park rangers that the owner shouted to the dog before walking off and leaving the scene.
The matter has been reported to park owners Chorley Council, the police and the RSPCA.
Since the attack, a petition has been launched by concerned residents to keep dogs on leads at all times at the park.
Coun Bev Murray, who oversees parks for Chorley Council, said: “This is an extremely distressing incident and we are working with the police to see if we can find who the owner of the dog was.
“The vast majority of dog owners are responsible and keep their dogs under control. However we would urge people to be mindful and take extra care when approaching other animals whether it be sheep in a field or a swan by a lake.
“If anyone has any information about this incident, they should contact the police on 101 and speak to Police Officer 3598, Rachel Jackson.”