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Dartford wildlife rescuer Carly Ahlen finds swans beheaded at 'lake of horror' Southmere Lake in Thamesmead


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Several swans have been found beheaded at a "lake of horror" in a spate of wildlife killings.

The gruesome finds were discovered by Dartford wildlife rescuer Carly Ahlen who had been patrolling the area after being alerted to the incidents.

Carly is now patrolling Southmere lake after the wildlife killings. Picture: Carly Ahlen
Carly is now patrolling Southmere lake after the wildlife killings. Picture: Carly Ahlen

She said: "I am really angry. Swans are protected so this is a real big wildlife crime. Four animals getting killed, it is like a serial killer.

"I deal with wildlife crimes almost every day but nothing could have prepared me for this. It was even more shocking knowing that a human had done this.

"From my experience this was not done by an animal, they are clean cuts to the head.

"I love swans terribly and it is devastating that the wildlife is being treated and decimated in this way. For someone to do this is shocking. I cannot understand why someone would need to kill an animal that cannot defend itself."

In pictures shared with KentOnline, which we have chosen not to show in full, the swans are seen with bludgeoned and bloodied necks, their heads removed and their bodies left at Southmere Lake, Thamesmead near Woolwich.

There have been three incidents involving swans since the beginning of December and most recently there have been reports of a drowned and shot fox.

There have been three swan killings. Picture: Carly Ahlen
There have been three swan killings. Picture: Carly Ahlen

Carly added: "It is notorious in this area. It is the lake of horror.

"People go there to interact with nature instead they are seeing this. I cannot imagine the people who may have seen this walking around there.

"The wildlife killings are becoming more frequent and gruesome, when I pulled out the fox from the lake and took his body to examine, I could see the terror etched on his face.

"I knew from my experience that this fox had been tortured, the two head wounds, I felt did not kill him instantly, but caused him great distress and had probably drowned after being thrown into the lake."

The founder of Gabo Wildlife foundation has now installed a camera in the hope to catch the perpetrators after the spate of wildlife killings.

A fox was also found drowned after allegedly being shot. Picture: Carly Ahlen
A fox was also found drowned after allegedly being shot. Picture: Carly Ahlen

All incidents have been reported to the RSPCA and the Metropolitan Police.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: "It is concerning to hear reports of dead wild animals found at Southmere Lake, and we are in contact with those who made the upsetting discoveries.

"We urge anyone with information to contact us on 0300 1234 999. They can also contact the police who have wildlife crime officers."

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