A fox has been killed with a shot through the head, horrifying staff at a wildlife centre.

The vixen was a nursing mother and Riverside Animal Centre is determined to find her young cubs if they are to survive.

The original call to the Beddington Park centre in Wallington was of an animal hit by a car in West Way, Carshalton Beeches, on Tuesday, however what rescue staff found on arrival was that the animal had been shot in the head.

Posting on the group's Facebook page the centre wrote: "The sad reality of the persecution, ignorance and cruelty facing our local wildlife.

"The fox died minutes after arriving at Riverside."

The centre made "no apology for posting the picture of this deceased animal" as "a nursing mum now has orphaned cubs, frightened, cold, alone and starving.

"If they aren't found soon, they too will die and all because someone thinks that the other creatures that share this planet have no rights to their own lives."

It added: "If you live in this road, or nearby, please watch for young fox cubs crawling around, searching for mum, at best they have 48 hours from now."

The centre said the animal's death was not a clean kill, in violation of animal welfare laws.

The post ended: "Rest in peace little fox, you deserved better than this."

The centre is asking for those with information to call 020 8647 6230.

Sutton Guardian: