MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island said Monday that someone used a crossbow to shoot a swan at a wildlife preserve this past weekend.

As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, the swan was being nursed back to health. But the attack had a lot of people outraged.

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Investigators from the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals continued Monday to document the attack on the 7-year-old female swan at the Massapequa Preserve.

Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the swan was shot with two darts from a crossbow. Fortunately, the deadly darts were embedded in the swan’s wings, narrowly avoiding the elegant bird’s internal organs.

“If it was hit in a different spot, it would have caused very serious damage, including death,” said Gary Rogers of the Nassau County SPCA.

Local retiree Ronald McEwan spends his days feeding many different types of swans that fill the preserve’s ponds. He discovered the injured swan Sunday morning.

“It would have been very easy to shoot her, because she’s very docile,” McEwan said. “Anybody could have just walked right up to her and shot her.”

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McEwan successfully removed the darts and then treated the swan with antibiotics before returning it to the pond. Residents who walk the preserve’s many trails to enjoy its wildlife were stunned by the attack.

“I don’t have any words,” said Joe Wolf of Massapequa. “I mean, it’s horrific. It makes me ashamed to be a human being.”

Mike and Kelly Kakol often take their young children into the preserve – a place they considered safe.

“Our little one loves playing with the ducks and swans and looking at them, and it’s kind of scary to know that somebody’s in here – probably kids – shooting them with darts,” Mike Kakol said.

The SPCA is now asking the county to put surveillance cameras in the preserve, and is calling for the public’s help.

“The Nassau County SPCA has put up a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction,” Rogers said.

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Even though the swan is expected to recover fully, those who care for it said they will send it to an animal wildlife refuge to make sure it is not harmed again.