Fringe Box



Letter: Shot Swan Found at Riverside Park

Published on: 24 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 27 Feb, 2023

The injured swan.

From: Paul Robinson

After reading Malcolm Fincham’s delightful Birdwatcher’s Diary I have some unwelcome news.

A couple of days ago I found an injured juvenile swan at the lake at the Riverside Nature Reserve. It had a bleeding wound on its neck.

After taking photos I emailed the photos to Shepperton’s Swan Sanctuary and rang them. They had a volunteer on site in 40 minutes but despite trying for four hours he was unable to catch it. He came back yesterday after work and this time was successful.

X-rays taken at the sanctuary proved that the swan had been shot with a ball bearing. Following surgery, the bird is now recuperating.

I would like to urge everyone who walks or rides by the river and any lakes to have on their phone contact list the Swan Sanctuary’s phone number (01932 240790) to report any injured swans.

Also, I ask everyone to keep their eyes open for anyone carrying shotguns, catapults or air rifles along the river bank.

See the Swan Sanctuary website here:

X-ray reveals a round object in the saw’s neck which very fortunately had not caused more serious or even fatal injury.

The extracted “ball bearing”.

Happy ending – “Danni” the cygnet with other recovering swans.

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Responses to Letter: Shot Swan Found at Riverside Park

  1. Malcolm Fincham Reply

    February 25, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    I would like to thank Paul Robinson for his astute observations of the injured “first winter” cygnet at Stoke Lake and his initiative to contact Shepperton Swan Sanctuary (highly recommended for their compassionate work).

    I was also present later that day and watched in anticipation of the volunteer’s unsuccessful attempts to capture the bird. I was concerned for its welfare. It has therefore given me great peace of mind to read of its eventual capture and that it is now in safe hands.

    Malcolm Fincham writes the Birdwatcher’s Diary for The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

  2. Paul Robinson Reply

    February 27, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    At the weekend I received an email from the Swan Sanctuary in response to my original mail reporting the injury.

    “The cygnet had been shot with a catapult and a large ball bearing was embedded in the neck which was the cut and swelling that could be seen.

    “The cygnet has been operated on and the ball bearing removed, the prognosis is good and we are hoping for a full recovery although it will take a little time.”

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