FATAL injuries sustained by a swan has prompted a charity to issue a warning about the need to keep canines under control near wildlife.

The bird experienced catastrophic injuries following a dog attack near Conwy.

RSPCA Cymru were alerted to the incident, which happened at the RSPB reserve, on Friday lunchtime on August 14.

During the attack - by a dog being walked off a lead - the swan sustained horrific injuries; the whole back of the bird was ripped off and its entire dorsal musculature was exposed.

The swan did not die following the attack but would have suffered immense pain and suffering.

After a search for the badly-injured bird, which took more than an hour, the swan re-appeared at the busy quayside in the town of Conwy.

The swan was making desperate attempts to swim in full view of many distressed members of the public - before the RSPCA was able to transfer the animal to a veterinary practice, where she had to be put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent said: “This was such a sad and distressing incident to deal with.

“This poor swan was undoubtedly the most injured animal I have seen to still be alive in my 10 years working for the RSPCA - and was in complete shock and agony. It was a desperate situation.

“Fortunately, following a long search, we were able to reach the swan and a veterinarian was able to put an end to her suffering. But the injuries, shock and agony experienced by the bird was utterly devastating and heartbreaking to witness.

“This shocking incident could have been avoided if the dog involved had not been walked so close to wildlife off the lead.

“Dog owners must remember that where there may be wild animals present in an area, a dog must be kept under proper control at all times - as the consequences otherwise can be fatal, like for this swan.”

**Please note we have opted to blur the distressing image**