A swan owned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth has been found butchered, burnt and stripped of its flesh.
The bird was discovered on a river bank near Windsor Castle in Berkshire, southeast England, and the feathered creature's body is thought to have been barbecued and eaten in a "sickening" attack.
Wendy Hermon, of animal charity Swan Lifeline which cares for sick and injured birds, said, "It was just a carcass; it was all burnt. We could see that whoever did this had taken the breast out.
"It was done neatly, presumably to get at the meat. They had skinned it as well and possibly barbecued it there, on a disposable barbecue.
"We have no idea how it was killed; it could have been shot or beaten.
"I felt sick when I saw it. How can someone do that and leave it where they did? I would have been devastated if I had been walking along there with my little boy and he had seen that.
"It just sickens me that there are people out there that do things like that."
The swan is thought to have been killed on Saturday evening, and police are now investigating.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said, "Thames Valley Police is investigating a theft following a report at 12.38 pm on 18 August by a Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council warden who had found a swan. The swan had been killed and burnt."
All wild, mute swans in Britain are considered to be owned by the Crown and it’s an offence to kill one.