A mother swan has died of 'broken heart' after some teens smashed her eggs and her mate disappeared.
According to reports, a group of vandals from Bolton, UK, threw bricks at the swan's nest. As a result, they damaged the nest and killed six of her unhatched cygnets.
Wildlife activists inspecting the area said the boys were hurling bricks and rocks along Manchester Canal. According to witnesses, the vandals were aiming for the island where the swans had made a nest.
Sam Woodrow, one of the activists, said the vandals also smashed three of the six eggs. The activist added that more eggs were lost in recent weeks, leaving just one surviving egg.
Following the attack, the mother's mate left the nest two weeks later due to stress, never to return.
Unable to bear the loss of partner, nest, and eggs, the grieving mother died a few days later.
Woodrow explained that the swan likely died of a 'broken heart' due to the departure of her partner.
"There's not much I can say really."
"She probably died of a broken heart as she had a partner for life, and he was driven away by stress."
According to the Swan Sanctuary, if a mate disappears or dies, 'the surviving mate will go through a grieving process just like humans do.'
The partner will then either remain where it is, find a new habitat, or fly off and join a flock.
In most cases, these birds die of a broken heart.
Taking to Facebook, activist Michael Mason also posted about the swan's death.
"Her mate left her on her own, and sadly, I learned... she was found slumped in her nest dead. I just feel like crying."
Mason also shared photos of the swan and its nest.
He pointed out that aside from the vandals, dogs, and other swans had also harassed the mother.
A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty toward Animals (RSPCA), commented on the incident:
"This is a sad development. It is very upsetting to hear about the death of this poor swan."
"We are investigating the previous distressing incident. And we would urge anyone with information to contact [us]"
"Swans, their nests, and their eggs are under [protection] of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981."
In a similar incident, Met Police recently launched a hunt for a cruel jogger who kicked a newly-hatched cygnet in Richmond Park in southwest London.
The baby swan died of brain injuries two days later.