Mute swansThe animal was of the same species as these two beauties seen in the Navesink River off the Rumson boat launch in November.

Today’s Asbury Park Press reports that a mute swan was found decapitated in Little Silver six weeks ago, and that the Monmouth County SPCA is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the culprit.

From the story:

The swan was found at a dock on the Little Silver Creek on Dec. 16.

Ursula Goetz, executive director of the county’s SPCA, said her agency is offering the reward and handling the investigation, while an ad placed in today’s Asbury Park Press about the case was paid for by a Rumson woman, Betty Butler, 69, who is known for her work with rescued waterfowl.

Goetz said her agency investigated 750 animal cruelty cases last year, but many times they start out with more leads than they have in this case. The SPCA offers rewards two or three times a year, she said.

Butler said the swan that was killed was an adult male. She believes the culprit likely used food to entice the swan, but also said the swan killer had to be strong enough to grab the bird, which has powerful wings and a wingspan of four to five feet.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, mute swans are white with an orange bill, a black face and a long, curved neck. Despite their name, they are not mute.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the SPCA Chief Victor “Buddy” Amato at (732) 312-7153. The names of callers will be kept confidential, Amato said.

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