A family of swans have been the star attraction for many people visiting Middleton Park this spring, but this week two of the cygnets have had to be taken to the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital in separate incidents.
A pair of swans first nested at the lake in Middleton Park last year. This year they returned and have raised a brood of eight cygnets, the first to be seen in Middleton for many years.
On Saturday (6 June 2020) a cygnet who was being attacked by his parents was rescued and driven the Swan Rescue Hospital near Selby. It is understood that swans may reject a cygnet if they are unable to feed them.
Then yesterday (10 June) another cygnet was spotted with a damaged beak. Swan Rescue were called in again and were again able to help.
Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital commented:
“Some cosmetic surgery for this chap yesterday, after his beak was badly damaged by a fishing hook at Middleton Park in Leeds. Looking much better now.
“Our sincere thanks and gratitude to Alistair and the team at Greenwood & Brown Veterinary Clinics Ltd for their assistance with the cygnet.”
The Friends of Middleton Park commented:
“Please could we all take a little time when visiting the Park and the lake to see the proud parents and the cygnets to just think about our actions.
“Those who want to fish, please be very careful (as I know most of you are) with your lines and what you leave behind. Please do not leave lines unattended, and be careful where your floats go.
“Those who are walking their dogs – please do keep them on a lead whilst around the lake and do NOT at this time allow them into the water.
“Those with children (of any age 8-80!) – please do NOT allow them to harass or get too close to the swans or their cygnets, and obviously the throwing of stones at any of the birds is just stupid.
“Above all, please could we ALL respect the wildlife in the lake…and especially the swans and their young.”
RSPCA officers have been to the park to speak to visitors and park staff have been working to clear away any fishing tackle left in or near the lake.
Main photo: Margaret Hebden
This article was amended at 5:45pm on 11 June 2020