A pair of swans were found swimming in an Eastbourne stream covered in engine oil.
Volunteers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), Andrew and Charlotte Loftus, rescued the swans from the stream behind St Anthony’s Avenue and Leeds Avenue on Saturday (September 28).
Trevor Weeks MBE and founder of East Sussex WRAS said, “The rescuers were concerned about the amount of oil on the swans and concerned they may have digested some too.”
The swans were taken to WRAS’s casualty centre where they were cleaned by a care team.
WRAS’s lead casualty manager Katie Nunn-Nash said, “We think the black sludgy oil is some form of waste oil. Luckily it has proven to be fairly easy to clean off using washing up liquid and we don’t think they had been covered for very long.”
The swans will stay with WRAS until the charity is happy the birds’ natural water proofing has fully returned.
WRAS is urging people with waste engine oil to be careful how they dispose of it and to completely avoid dumping it down road side drains, where it could get into local rivers and ponds causing environmental damage.
A WRAS spokesperson said, “If you are looking to dispose of waste oil please contact your local council for a list of sites which accept it. This incident has been reported to the Environment Agency.”