Polegate man aids fighting swans

Swan rescue at brighton Marina SUS-150903-111718001
Swan rescue at brighton Marina SUS-150903-111718001

A Polegate animal rescuer was called to break up a nasty fight between two swans at the weekend.

Volunteers from the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service were called to Brighton Marina on Saturday after members of the public and security staff at the marina reported the two birds fighting.

A spokesperson for WRAS said two swans started fighting in the marina and became stuck and in need of help.

Rescuers had to scare off one of the two swans which was attacking the other after it became stuck between a pontoon and wall at the side of the marina.

Rescuer Tony Neads of Polegate struggled to free the swan which was tightly caught.

“In addition to get the swan out of a narrow gap, it was entangled in a hose pipe too,” said Tony.

We think this swan became stuck and struggling to get away from the attacking swan which we believe was trying to chase off the intruder in his territory.

Rescuer Tony Nead

“I got very wet in the process but after encouraging the first swan away, I was eventually able to reach the stuck swan and lift him out of the narrow gap to safety.

“On land I could then see the swan had a nasty injury down to the bone on the side of the swan’s foot.

“The attacking swan was also injured but not as severely as the first which had to be my priority.”

The swan had to be rushed to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith where centre manager Chris Riddington assessed the wounds and provided first aid.

“The wound was right along the side of the toe down to the bone and damaged the nail bed too,” said Chris.

“We struggled at first to stop the bleeding.

“We think this swan became stuck and struggling to get away from the attacking swan which we believe was trying to chase off the intruder in his territory.”

The swan was taken up to the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton for specialist veterinary care due to the severity.

Chris attended on site on the Sunday to check the other injured swan which he managed to catch from one of the pontoons using food.

“There was a similar wound on this swan but luckily not as bad as the first swan so he is was taken to WRAS where he has been bedded down for assessment on Monday,” said Chris.

“WRAS has dealt with several swan overs the past couple of months where swans have been chased off or injured in territorial fighting between swans, which are starting to think about this spring’s breeding season and they don’t want last year’s youngsters or any other pairs of swans hanging around.”

It marked the end of a busy week for WRAS as other rescues included an injured fox in Churchdale Road, a road casualty fox on Cross Levels Way and a pigeon flying round inside Boots in Eastbourne.

The charity has recently been chosen as a recipient for the green token scheme at ASDA in Eastbourne during March and April and Hailsham Waitrose has chosen WRAS as one of three charities at the Hailsham Store for April which it says will help in the coming busy spring and summer season.