A teenager on a scooter grabbed a pigeon out of a tree and tried to rip its wing off leaving it dying in the street, the RSPCA said.

The horrific attack saw the youngster ride past the bird as it ate berries in a tree in Walthamstow, before suddenly snatching it from the branch and injuring the helpless animal.

Due to its severe injuries, the blood-covered bird could not be saved and had to be put down by a vet.

A passer-by saw what happened as he was walking along Sandpiper Close at around 11.30am on Sunday (June 5).

He saw the young teenager on a silver scooter grab the wood pigeon - which was on a low tree branch - then try and rip the wing off the bird.

The witness stayed with the injured pigeon and reported it to the RSPCA.

Animal Rescue Officers arrived at the scene shortly after the attack and could see the terrified bird hiding behind a fence near the tree with a badly broken wing.

Nicole Thomas from the RSPCA managed to rescue the pigeon but it was so badly injured it had to be put to sleep to end its suffering, the charity said.

The RSPCA today launched an appeal the following day for information in a bid to catch the youth responsible for the "mindless attack".

Ms Thomas said: “When I arrived at the scene there was blood and feathers on the street and the poor bird was hiding behind a nearby fence and was obviously terrified and stressed.

“I managed to capture the bird but the damage was so bad the kindest thing to do was to put the pigeon to sleep.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the incident or who may know who is responsible as I believe if he was on a scooter he would likely live locally.

“I am also keen to hear from anyone with CCTV in the area which might help the investigation.”

The suspect is described as a young teenager, white, with dark hair, wearing a tracksuit and was riding on a silver scooter.

Anyone with information can contact the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 1234 999.