The charred carcass of one of Queen Elizabeth's own swans was found on a riverbank near Windsor Castle after having been barbecued and eaten, according to the police and a charity called Swan Lifeline. The swan was one of about 200 that live on Baths Island and belong to the queen. Until 1998, under a law dating to the 12th century, killing or injuring a swan was classified as treason, and the crown retains ownership of all unmarked mute swans in areas along the River Thames. Wild swans are also protected under a 1981 act, and to injure or kill a swan -- let alone eat one -- is against the law. Wendy Hermon of Swan Lifeline said that "the whole breast had been removed, and it looked like it had been eaten for lunch." There was "just a swan skeleton left," she said. "It's absolutely disgusting, I can't imagine the kind of people that would do this." She said the carcass, with its feathers still attached, was taken by her group to be cremated.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.