MYSTERY surrounds the death of four cygnets on a university campus.

Staff at Essex University were horrified to discover the bodies of the baby swans near North Towers on the Wivenhoe campus.

A security patrol officer came across the birds at about 11.30am on Saturday [7/8], and immediately called police.

The exact cause of their deaths has not yet been determined, but rumours are circulating among students that they were shot with some sort of air gun.

The death of the swans has devastated staff and the remaining students, as they had become a regular fixture around the campus.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact PC Mick Bond at Wivenhoe police station on 0300 333 4444.