A severely injured male swan required specialist veterinary treatment following a horrific and savage attack by a dog in Ashton Gardens back in July. He was then rehabilitated at the Stapely Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire. However, very sadly, the swan has been incorrectly released in the Lancaster Canal in Kirkham instead of being once again reunited with his mate and four cygnets in Ashton Gardens.
The swan cannot now be recaptured and brought back to his family.
Mel Greenhalgh, of the Brambles Wildlife Rescue in South Shore, explains, ‘We initially thought that he was released at Fairhaven Lake, but it turned out to be the Lancaster Canal. Meanwhile, his mate and his babies are in Ashton Gardens. Swans mate for life, as many birds do. So I think it’s incredibly sad on both sides, both for the little family which will be wondering where it is, and for the swan itself which will be very distressed. The RSPCA has apologised for it, as far as I’m aware, but have not been helpful in trying to locate the swan and reunite it with its family. I think trying to find it now will be like finding a needle in a haystack. It could have gone anywhere. It could have flown. As if it wasn’t bad enough that it was attacked by a dog in the first place, now it is lost.’
Alison Allen has also provided this very comprehensive update: ‘I have been doing some more digging and questioning and have found out that papa swan did not actually get released at Fairhaven as I was previously advised. I pushed the Sanctuary manager for more information and he has advised me that ‘The Officer is very apologetic!! He has said he released the swan on the Lancaster Canal near the Kirkham end (they do very well there apparently), it’s only about 4/5 miles as the crow flies to the actual location. I realise that this is absolutely devastating but me and my partner are going out there later to try to and find him.
I’ve just spoken to the Sanctuary manager and he’s has advised me that despite the error they are legally not allowed to interfere with nature unless the swan is injured. He has also advised that contrary to what we believe, swans do not mate for life and he has seen instances where they have returned a swan to its home and it has been attacked by the other one and subsequently left. As I’ve said previously, he may well choose to fly home or he may choose to stay where he is.
I’m sorry that this has not had the answer that we were expecting and I have worked my socks off to try and get the end result we wanted.’
Featured photograph is not the swan in the story – but is used to illustrate the article.