We have been very busy recently with problems due to fishing tackle, oil spills, botulism, abandoned cygnets, territorial fights and attacks by dogs off the lead.
It is so important than dogs are kept on their lead around riverbanks where swans (and other wildfowl) may be nesting, or swimming in the shallows with their brood – but you already know that. If you do want to do something to protect swan families for the next breeding season, please contact your local councillor (find them at: writetothem.com) and ask for sign
s to be prepared for next year. If they need any help or advice, please ask them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Luckily most of our rescues involve a little de-tangling or getting some cygnets over a hazard in a river and they can get immediately released back to their flock or family. But some of our rescues mean that we have to bring them back to our Centre for treatment.
For the ones on the road to recovery, we keep all cygnets until they have their flight feathers, then will release them (and their new friends they’ve been living with) onto private lakes, or into a flock we’ve been given permission to release into by the King’s Swan Marker. For adult swans, they are released back to their flock or family as soon as possible – but (true story) it doesn’t help if we go to release Mr Swan after a week and find that Mrs Swan has already found a new mate! Our staff feel like couples’ counsellors sometimes.
Injuries from fishing tackle continue to keep us busy. Happily most can be dealt with on the spot and the swan immediately released back after a health check.
One swan had been in a territorial dispute with another swan but after some care by our team, it fully recovered and was released into a safer area.
We had one lucky rescue as our staff spotted him when releasing another swan. He had been attacked either by a dog or fox. After taking him to our vets then back to our ICU, he was put on antibiotics and pain relief. It was an older injury, so the infection had set in. We were extremely worried about him as he also wasn’t eating much. However, after a couple of weeks, his injuries have cleared up and he's slowly putting on weight. He continues to be treated at the Centre.
We had to treat 3 swans and 1 cygnet after an oil spill on the Kennet & Avon canal recently. All the adults were successfully treated and released back to their flock. The cygnet stayed on as he had some wing damage but became firm friends with some of our other resident cygnets, so was released with them.