New photos have been released of a woman who kicked a swan and a man who shoved an onlooker into a canal after had had tried to intervene.
Police have appealed for information about the pair who were part of a group of around ten people gathered around the edge of the water in Limehouse, east London, on Friday.
Footage shows the woman appearing to kick the bird, before an older man tries to to intervene and remonstrate with the group.
As he spoke to them, a youth in a blue t-shirt appeared from out of his field of view to shove him into the canal.
The furious onlooker marched toward the group with a pole after a girl kicked a swan in Limehouse canal, East London
Police are hunting for the woman who kicked the swan. They are also looking for a thug who shoved another man into the water
The youth, wearing black shorts and a pair of flip-flops, is then seen riding away on a scooter, shouting ‘have that’.
Initially, it was reported that the swan had been mating before the woman kicked it, though witnesses now report that the bird was attacking another.
They claim several people had tried to separate the warring birds before the women intervened.
One told MailOnline: ‘I watched the entire episode and the swans were not mating, they were fighting to the death. One was father of nine cygnets nearby and one was from a pair who were being territorial.
‘They had been sparring for some time before crowds gathered and had sparred several times in previous days without a fight actually breaking out. The girl was trying to separate the swans to avoid one of them being killed.
A boy wearing a blue shirt and a black baseball cap pushes the man into the water below
‘The one to pursue is the idiot boy in the blue shirt who pushed the man in the canal.’
Another added: ‘I was there. I don’t know any of the people involved, but I saw the whole thing. One swan was very definitely attacking the other. He (presumably) was biting the other’s neck and attempting to submerge its head.
‘This went on for an extended period of time, with onlookers attempting to break them up by making noise and after some time, throwing things. There was quite a sizable crowd on the bridge.
‘Obviously this is irrelevant to the pushing into the water of the man who intervened. But the people involved were not just baiting the swans – it was an attempt to break up an attack.’
A third witness also said that the girl had been attempting to break up a potentially murderous battle between swans.
He added: ‘A guy came out saying loudly to the group of teenagers asking them not to disturb the nature and just leave the swans alone, and don’t throw plastic into the river. Obviously, one of the kids ran from behind and push this man into the river.
‘Yes, it was a bad behaviour, but none of us were worried as that guy was obviously know how to swim from his reaction. He has gone back up to the ground comfortably himself.’
The Metropolitan Police said that enquiries into the incident and into the identities of the man and woman involved were continuing.
The group watches on as the onlooker, still clutching on to his pole, falls into the canal in Limehouse
With the man who confronted them in the water, the group walks off. The boy who pushed him can later be seen riding away on a scooter
Superintendent Andy Cox previously said: ‘Awful viewing. Animal cruelty is an indicator of many other vile behaviours and a tendency towards other forms of violence.
‘The assault & anti social behaviour needs our action. Help us by letting us know who these offenders are via 101 or confidentially via crimestoppers.’
Twitter users reacted to the shocking footage, former police officer Mike Pannett wrote: ‘Who knew how deep that water was? That could have ended up in life changing injuries to that brave young man.
‘Vile cowards and bullies of the highest order.’
Terry Morgan wrote: ‘Thought swans were protected? Even if not still shocking behaviour. Hope they are identified and caught. Scum bags.’
Some viewers were confused by the footage and thought the girl was trying to separate the swan.
One viewer wrote: ‘These individuals were trying to stop one swan from attacking another. They were not attacking the swan!’
Another Twitter user claimed: ‘They were mating.’
The RSPCA echoed the police’s call for witnesses, tweeting: ‘If anyone has further information on these individuals, please contact us on 0300 1234 999.’
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