Swan stabbed by teenagers at Sale Water Park is reunited with family

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The RSPCA has described the attack at Sale Water Park as ‘cruel’ and ‘callous.’

The RSPCA have returned a swan to Sale Water Park, reuniting it with its mate and cygnets, after it was stabbed by two teenagers.

Members of the public spotted the two boys attacking the bird with sticks and then running away on Thursday 20 July. The swan was bleeding, mainly from its wings, which suggests it was trying to protect the cygnets.

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The RSPCA were contacted and Inspector Deborah Beats and animal rescue officer Steve Wickam used a boat to reach the injured swan. They had to wear protective clothing to protect against avian flu transmission, but they managed to get her out of the water and to Ashleigh Veterinary Centre for treatment.

The RSPCA has rescued a swan that was stabbed by teenagers at Sale Water Park. Credit: RSPCA / SWNSThe RSPCA has rescued a swan that was stabbed by teenagers at Sale Water Park. Credit: RSPCA / SWNS
The RSPCA has rescued a swan that was stabbed by teenagers at Sale Water Park. Credit: RSPCA / SWNS | RSPCA / SWNS

Luckily, her wounds were found to be superficial, so she was cleaned and given a course of anti-inflammatory medication. Steve Wickham and his partner Sonia Hulme, who is also an RSPCA officer with experience in bird rehabilitation, cared for her over the weekend before releasing her.

This is not the first time this month that Steve has had to assist in a bird-related emergency. He recently rescued 65 ducks trapped in a weir in Lancashire. He said: “Thankfully the wounds were not too deep and no lasting damage appears to have been done, but this was a cruel and callous attack nevertheless, and all the more disturbing that it appears to have been perpetrated by teenagers, it is just completely senseless.

“I’d like to thank everyone who was rightly concerned about this incident and urge those with first hand information about the people responsible to get in touch with us. We’d also ask people who are visiting the park to help us look out for our wildlife and to report anything suspicious to us or the local authority.”

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This attack comes RSPCA launch their Cancel Out Cruelty campaign to raise money and make sure their officers can continue to save animals like the Sale swan.

It is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take a swan under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The maximum penalty for doing so is six months imprisonment or an unlimited fine.

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