Swan saved in RSPCA port rescue

An injured swan has been helped by the RSPCA, following a dramatic port rescue in Barry.

The animal welfare charity was contacted by Associated British Ports’ Barry Marine team, after the swan was spotted in the dock at Atlantic Way, with fishing lure attached to the wing.

Staff working on the ‘Peter the Great Boat’ at the port had been monitoring the troubled swan for some while.

The bird had been visiting the engine-less boat – which was dredging in the area – for food. Concerned marine staff contacted the RSPCA to come to the aid of the swan.

RSPCA officers attended the scene, and were able to borrow a boat from the Harbour Master, and utilise catch pole equipment to safely collect the swan.

The swan was checked over by a veterinarian, and has now been transferred to specialist wildlife facilities for rehabilitation, ahead of a return to the wild in the future.

RSPCA Cymru say the incident is “yet another reminder” about the dangers fishing litter poses to wildlife.

The rescue was completed last Thursday (1 November), by RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Sian Burton and animal collection officer Steph Davidson.

AWO Burton said: “This poor swan had fishing line and lure tangled in their wing.

“The poor thing was badly impacted by the fishing line, and had been remaining close to staff at the ‘Peter the Great’ boat for food.

“It’s yet another reminder as to the dangers fishing litter poses to wildlife. Fortunately, we were able to reach this swan – but many aren’t so lucky.

“We’re so grateful to staff at the port, who couldn’t have been more helpful or shown more compassion for the plight of the poor bird. This rescue was another example of what we can all achieve together for animal welfare.”
A spokesperson for Associated British Ports, said: “We’re passionate about protecting the natural habitats and wildlife surrounding our ports. We always look out for our neighbours from the animal kingdom and were glad to be able to work with the RSPCA to make sure this story had a happy ending.”

The RSPCA publishes advice to anglers about discarding fishing litter safely. Recently, a Swansea-based swan also had a lucky escape after being freed from dangerous fishing litter by RSPCA officers, highlighting the scale and frequency of this issue.

Should you wish to help RSPCA Cymru with rescues like this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

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Nathan Spackman

Nathan is the Operations Manager at Bro Radio. You'll occasionally find him with our street team and hosting at local events as well as presenting our facebook live videos.