Monday, 19 July 2010

Swan rescue

Now, don't get all excited, the isn't a repeat of my recent duck saving mission I'm afraid. Equally as good though. Although I can't guarantee a happy ending. Let me explain.

A couple of weekends ago, we went away to the countryside, we were practically in Wales basically. We stopped overnight in Stratford-upon-Avon to break up the journey home. We had a lovely weekend, saw some friends which I don't see often enough, did a bit of camping, compensated by staying in a plush b&b in Stratford after that, and all in all, it was rather pleasant.

On the day we were meant to drive home, we strolled around Stratford and ended up by the river. We witnessed something rather peculiar. After talking to some locals, we figured out what was going on. Two people were aiming to catch a couple of ill swans. One was feeding them, trying to get them all in one place, and another was on a boat trying to catch the poorly ones. Can you see it in the little boat, in its cute green coat? It seemed quite content to be honest!

And do you want to know what was wrong with this one? Lead poisoning. Apparently, the entire river is badly contaminated and all the birds that live on it are leaded. Some get affected worse than others. This one had severe lead poisoning, and you can tell by looking at its neck. Can you see how it's all crooked, not nice and straight? That means it can't put its head under the water, it can't feed. And if it can't eat, well, there's no happy ending let's put it that way. So these wonderful people (volunteers by the way), catch the birds and take them to a local sanctuary where they are treated. Only lead accumulates in the body and once it's there, you can't get rid of it. So there's no guarantee these birds will indeed survive, but the fact that some people care enough for them to do this, at least try and save them, I find it rather amazing, don't you?


Jill said...

Oh my goodness - that's just awful. I go to Stratford quite alot as it's only a 20 minute drive from where I live. I'm actually in shock - lead poisoning really is horrible. Those poor, poor swans.

Thanks for your lovely comments over on my blog today. I really have some great followers :0)

Jill x

jane said...

How completely awful - thank goodness for all the good samaritans of the world, but what a horrible thing to happen. Poor swan, i'll cross my fingers for him, and all the others, and all the other birds. ANd let's hope no more lead ends up in the river, whereever it's been coming from.
Your weekend sounds lovely, by the way - yay camping!

The Girl said...

Oh no. Poor swanages. How awful.

But what a snazzy green jacket.

I prefer to block out the possibility of them not being able to be fixed and instead imagine them all on a lovely lake somewhere swanning about.

fuelforbodyandsoul said...

That's so sad! I can't believe that the river is contaminated... It's awful...

Diane said...

Thats awful - how come its full of so much lead?
Thats one small tent - very cosy. xxx

Petit Filoux said...

@ Diane: Not sure really, it could come from all sorts of effluents from industrial activities taking place along the river - companies often exceed the standards set in their discharge licence, and I guess the Environment Agency can't always pin point who it comes from and so fine them.
I didn't mean to make you all sad with this story, but let's just hope things like this encourage people to behave in a more environmentally friendly way!!!

The Curious Cat said...

oh....poor poor swan...I feel rather sad now...I hope they could do least they are trying! xxx