A mum and daughter were left ‘terrified’ and ‘distressed’ after they watched dogs attack three swans which all died.
None of the dogs were on leads and were with a man when the incident happened.
The mum, who has asked not to be named, described how the incident unfolded. She said: “We went for a nice walk to feed the ducks but it was horrible and was like something out of a horror film.
“The dogs were not under control and attacking the cygnets. I hid my daughter behind me to protect her.”
The woman immediately contacted police.
She said: “The man claimed the swans attacked his dogs first and they were the victims but they didn’t look hurt. I was terrified as I didn’t know what they were going to do next.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire police confirmed a call had been made regarding three dogs off their leads which were attacking swans.
The family returned to the water on Sunday and found a third swan had not survived the attack. “My daughter has been very upset and distressed by it all,” said the woman.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “We were called after three cygnets were seen being attacked by dogs.
“One of the cygnets was dead when an RSPCA inspector arrived, and the remaining two cygnets were taken to a vet with serious injuries. Sadly, they were so badly injured that the vet put them to sleep.
“This would have been very distressing for people to witness, and the message here is clear - please keep your dog on a lead when you know you are near wildlife. Remember a wild animal may be nearby, so make sure you watch out.
“Legally dog owners should have control of their animals in a public place. We are asking dog owners to act responsibly to ensure sad incidents such as this are prevented.”