Sick swan eludes rescuers in River Wear animal drama

Sick swan on the River Wear at Chester-le-Street
Sick swan on the River Wear at Chester-le-Street
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A POORLY swan had rescuers running around in circles after he was spotted looking sorry for himself in the River Wear.

A rescue operation was launched after a concerned member of the public alerted the RSPCA.

But five days after the year-old swan was first spotted at Chester-le-Street’s Riverside Park, he is still to be caught so that he can be examined by a vet.

Firefighters on the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s fireboat spent three hours trying to hook the swan yesterday, but were hindered by around 90 of his feathery friends.

Volunteer Linda Charlton, from the North East Swan Rescue, wants the bird to receive medical treatment through a swan and wildlife trust.

Linda, of Chester-le-Street, said: “We first noticed he had a problem five days ago.

“He’s lethargic, he won’t eat, he’s quite still and his neck feathers are all fluffed up. He’s off colour.”

Linda has been a swan enthusiast for more than 20 years and spends almost every day down by the river.

“We need to give him a break and try again tomorrow,” Linda said.

“He isn’t going to die overnight, but he needs treatment. The fire brigade were extremely professional. We all tried our best for a good three hours.”

Linda has been keeping a vigil and the rescue was expected to resume today.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said: “We were called by the RSPCA at 10am after several reports of a sick swan in the River Wear in Chester-le-Street.  

“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to capture the swan.”