The RSPCA and officers from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have rescued a swan with a dog bite from a pond in Sheffield, to applause from local people.
The RSPCA attended Frecheville Pond just off Hopedale Road at around 5pm on Thursday afternoon (2 April) after a report that a swan had been attacked by a dog, and was injured. She was on an island with her mate, sitting on a nest of eggs.
RSPCA Inspector Sara Jordan said: “When I arrived I could see the swan had a wound to her neck on the right side which was bleeding profusely causing her feathers to appear bright red.
“She was desperately preening and trying to clean it off whilst her mate sat on the water nearby.
“This pond is fairly small and the island is tiny but is 30ft or more from the land so I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything without help and that I’d lose the light before I could get our boat there.
“I called South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue who were amazing and agreed to come out and asked one of my colleagues to come over from another area, who is flood-trained and therefore qualified and equipped to get into the water with his dry suit on.
“The Fire Service sent an officer out who then arranged for a crew who were water-rescue trained to attend and assist, and RSPCA Inspector Mick Darling and one of the firefighters got into the water in dry suits with lines attached to attempt to catch the swan.
“As they approached the island the swan moved off and we had a few failed attempts before Mick managed to safely catch her.
“We were kindly offered assistance from numerous local people – from food to feed them to a kayak and boat if we needed them.
“It was also lovely to have people offer seed, corn and flaked almonds for the swans to enjoy rather than the traditional bread – which can be quite unhealthy for them.
“The whole community was involved with lots of people watching out of their windows and as Mick got hold of the swan and we got her out there was a massive round of applause!”
The swan was taken to a local vet where she was treated for a bite wound in which a blood vessel had been burst. Luckily the wound was able to be treated quickly and she was given antibiotic and pain-killing injections so she could be safely returned to her eggs and nest.
Sara said: “Me and my colleague Ollie Wilkes, one of our Animal Collection Officers who had taken her to the vets, returned to the pond with her and released her back to her mate. She made a beeline for him and quite happily swam around with him as we left. Ollie went back the following morning and she was back on her nest resting.
“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for their assistance. We wouldn’t have been able to catch her as easily without their help and probably would have lost light as the dark was closing in.”
The RSPCA is continuing an emergency-only service through the lockdown period.
For more information, go to www.rspca.org.uk