A MALE swan shot through the head with a crossbow is continuing to make good progress and will make a miraculous full recovery, the RSPCA says.

The bird is now allowed outside at his temporary home at the Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, which supports the rehabilitation of sick, injured, orphaned and confiscated wildlife.

He had previously been kept inside to allow him to recover from the sickening injuries inflicted by two crossbow bolts.

Staff at the centre say he will be released back into the wild, but not at the same location for fear of a repeat attack.

It is not yet confirmed where the swan will be released.

He was in a critical condition after being shot with a crossbow in the Manchester Ship Canal at Moss Bank Road where it crosses with Tan House Lane in Penketh.

The incident happened on June 18.

RSPCA inspector Claire Fisher added: “This is a truly appalling act of cruelty against an innocent swan.

"One of the bolts had gone right through him, and the other was lodged in his skull. I actually have no clue how he is still alive.”

The swan was given emergency treatment at Village Vets in Liverpool, with a pipe inserted into his lung so he could breathe. Permanent damage to his throat remains possible.

Cheshire Police is investigating the attack.

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 632 of June 18.

Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.