A SWAN shot through the neck and in the head with a crossbow is making a miraculous recovery at Stapely Grange RSPCA centre in Nantwich.

The critically-injured adult male was transferred to the facility after being found by a member of the public on the canal between Fiddlers Ferry and Widnes at 4pm on Wednesday, June 18.

The distressed bird had also been shot several times with an air gun.

Vets in Liverpool carried out emergency treatment. One of the bolts had gone through the swan’s trachea.

An emergency airway was put into its lung so that it could breathe with ease and the swan was then kept in an oxygen enriched environment overnight.

After pulling through the night, he was transferred to the care of experts at Stapeley Grange.

Alan Humphreys, of Village Vets in Woolston, which treated the swan, said: "The prognosis is looking good however there is a possibility of long term damage to the trachea.

"This is a particularly unpleasant attack on a defenceless animal.”

RSPCA inspector Claire Fisher added: “This is a truly appalling act of cruelty against an innocent swan.

"One of the bolts had gone right through him, and the other was lodged in his skull. I actually have no clue how he is still alive.”

The police are leading the investigation and the RSPCA has offered its assistance if required.

Anyone with information should call Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 632 of 18 June 2014. Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.