RSPCA blast cruel teens who stabbed swan protecting cygnets in ‘senseless’ Manchester park attack
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A swan has been reunited with her partner and cygnets after she was stabbed with sticks by “cruel” teenagers. The bird was attacked on a footpath by two boys who injured her wings before running off.
The female swan was left bleeding with nasty wounds. It is thought she could have been protecting her cygnets at the time of the incident.
Inspector Deborah Beats and animal rescue officer Steve Wickam used a boat to reach the injured bird at Sale Water Park near Manchester. They wore protective clothing to minimise the ongoing risk posed by avian flu as the officers caught the swan.
The pair then took her to Ashleigh Veterinary Centre in Sale where her wounds were cleaned and thankfully found to be superficial in nature. She was also given a course of anti-inflammatory medication.
The swan - one of a mating pair at the park - was returned to the location to join her family by Steve on Monday morning (July 24). He said: ‘’Thankfully the wounds were not too deep and no lasting damage appears to have been done.
‘’But this was a cruel and callous attack nevertheless, and all the more disturbing that it appears to have been perpetrated by teenagers, it is just completely senseless. I’d like to thank everyone who was rightly concerned about this incident and urge those with first hand information about the people responsible to get in touch with us.
‘’We’d also ask people who are visiting the park to help us look out for our wildlife and to report anything suspicious to us or the local authority.”
Steve along with his partner Sonia Hulme, who is also an animal rescue officer for the RSPCA, cared for the swan over the weekend. The couple are both specially trained to deal with wildlife and often take in birds and other animals to rehabilitate at their home before they are released.
The RSPCA has appealed for people with information to call its inspectorate appeals line on 0300 123 8018. The attack comes as the charity launched its Cancel Out Cruelty fundraising campaign, urging people to donate to help it continue its vital work.
All wild birds, including swans, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take them except under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.