Elderly swan in Eastbourne weir rescue

WRAS rescue of swan at Shinewater SUS-160226-105744001
WRAS rescue of swan at Shinewater SUS-160226-105744001

Members of the public, concerned for an elderly swan unable to get past a weir to join its mate, called out rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.

The male mute swan was following its younger partner to the main lake at Shinewater Park in Eastbourne, but found himself struggling to get past a weir just off the busy A22 Golden Jubilee Way, Eastbourne.

An ambulance from East Sussex WRAS attended on site and found the swan in a distressed state. He had been swimming backwards and forwards for more than an hour from when first seen.

WRAS rescuer Trevor Weeks said, “It appears the younger swan was a bit more sprightly and managed to push itself up and over the weir, but this more mature and not quite so agile swan was struggling and clearly distressed.

“Several times the swan tried to push through the brambles to get up the embankment but without success. If the swan had kept doing this I could see it injuring itself.”

The swan was not easy to get to, and the rescue involved battling through quite a lot of brambles.

“I was able to catch the bird using a swan hook,” Trevor continued. “I got a rather wet foot and leg in the process, but it was all in a good cause. Getting the swan to the opposite side of the weir was not easy either, as I had to get through loads more brambles.

“I was then able to release the swan for it to swim off and work its way to the lake and its partner. It was really nice though, as it swam off it gave us a call and a lift of its neck as if to say thank you.”

East Sussex WRAS is in the process of recruiting volunteers. To find out more check out the website www.wildlifeambulance.org where donations can also be made.

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