A mother swan, Doris, has died after a suspected fatal dog attack on Stanley Park, sadly leaving her cygnets behind. It is thought that the cygnets will survive without their mother as their father, Boris, will take care of them. However, swans are renowned for experiencing intense grief and dying from a broken heart – so Boris will suffer greatly because of this incident.
Brambles Wildlife Rescue has shared this distressing news:
‘Boris and Doris are two of many characters on Stanley Park in Blackpool. We have loved these two swans and cared for them for several years, keeping them fed during every bird flu season, along with support feeding their yearly broods (which they almost always sadly lose to bird flu there every winter).
Heartbreakingly, Doris has had to be put to sleep this evening following a suspected dog attack injury that certainly hadn’t happened today and had left her with her shoulder ripped out of the joint and a severe compound wing fracture (bones irreparably sticking out).
Thanks to the dog owner, who like many other persons on Stanley Park, chose not to control their dog on a lead around wildlife, our vet had no choice but to end her suffering. Thank you to Adrian and team at The Veterinary Health Centre Ltd for helping Doris this evening.
Doris had 5 babies at present with Boris. It will forever be etched on our mind when we had to take her away from her babies this evening never to return. I can’t tell you what this does to us too, rescue can be the best but also the worst job in the world.
Boris will be bereft. Can people who know them please look out for him and their little babies with extra food?
These deaths will not stop, in our opinion, until the park enforces dogs on leads around wildlife and reinstalls its rangers to police it. Fylde Council can manage it, why can’t Blackpool Council?
We don’t have any other words left in us this evening, but we can tell you that Stanley Park is not a safe place for wildlife.
Rest in peace beautiful Doris, we will take care of Boris and your beautiful babies.’
We have spoken to the Chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park and he and the group are equally concerned and distressed. We have agreed to work together to join forces in addressing this matter with engagement events. We will use our trailer unit at the park, with dog walkers and the general public to consider all opportunities and possible actions including informative signage in appropriate areas. Also, our Parks Manager is going to meet with Brambles who do a tremendous job with animal welfare at the heart of everything they do, to talk through the solutions to this irresponsible dog owner behaviour.
In addition, we are using money secured through the Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and will be carrying out targeted work in a number of high profile locations including Stanley Park. During our patrols with colleagues from Lancashire Constabulary we will be speaking to park users about responsible dog ownership and the importance of always being in control of their dog.’