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Thursday, 28 May 2015

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Happy ending for swans stranded in Barrow street

IT was a journey through Barrow which proved to be too much for this young cygnet.

After wandering more than half a mile away from the nearest water, the weary youngster decided to call it a day in the middle of a family stroll, much to the dismay of the concerned parents.

Residents of Hibbert Road, Barrow, were surprised to hear the patter of tiny webbed feet as the pair of swans waddled past with the cygnet in tow around lunchtime on Tuesday.

With Ormsgill Reservoir and Barrow Park’s lake more than 800 metres in either direction, onlookers were perplexed as to why the feathered trio had wandered so far from water.

Their intended destination remains unclear, but in a scenario many parents of young children will find familiar, the group was struggling to make progress after the little one decided it was too tired to carry on walking.

Mum and dad dutifully stood guard while the young bird tried to muster the energy to continue.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said: “What a lot of waterfowl tend to do is move away from water to nest because it’s quiet and it’s further away from predators.

“But sometimes they forget that they have to get their young back to the water once they hatch.

“Because the young birds have to walk and the adults can’t fly away and leave them they can get into difficulties.

“If it was a family of ducks with their ducklings, our advice would be to gather them up and take them to the water.

“With swans, the best thing to do is call the RSPCA who can possibly come and take them away or contact the charity Swan Lifeline.”

Wendy Hermon, treatment centre coordinator at Swan Lifeline said: “What happens sometimes if there isn’t enough food, swans can go on a walkabout to find somewhere better.

“If they’ve been living on a manmade pond and the water levels drop there might not be enough edible weeds or if people stop feeding them.

“If they’ve got young with them they do get more protective. If someone goes near their babies they will attack and they will hit people with their wings.”

Luckily, it was a happy ending for the trio who were taken to Ormsgill Reservoir by the RSPCA where they have been able to rest and recover from their day out.

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