Fears over cygnets as 10 baby swans and four eggs disappear from Sunderland park

Concerns have been raised after cygnets and swan eggs disappeared overnight from Herrington Country Park in Sunderland.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 5:14 pm

Ten cygnets and four swan eggs in total have gone from several nests in the park in the past couple of weeks in two separate incidents, a local resident has said.

Wayne Badrensingh has said three baby swans and one egg disappeared from a nest after 9pm on Friday, May 14, with a further seven cygnets and three more eggs taken from two other nests after dark the following Wednesday, May 20.

The artist, who also helps with swan rescues, believes the disappearances are caused by humans, rather then animal predators as the nests were fenced off and there were no signs of a fight.

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Concerned Wayne Badresingh says the swan was left devastated after all of her cygnets were taken. Photo: Wayne Badresingh
Concerned Wayne Badresingh says the swan was left devastated after all of her cygnets were taken. Photo: Wayne Badresingh

Wayne explained: “These were fenced off nests, very difficult for predators, but easily accessible to people.

"There’s no smashed eggs, there’s no feathers. “

The resident also added that the incidents appear to be on the rise this year after five cygnets disappeared in 2020.

Wayne said: "This is really big, the scale of this.

All nests where the incidents happened were fenced off. Photo: Wayne Badresingh

"It does seem to be on the rise.

"A lot of people are upset.

"Swans don’t actually have any natural predators. Swans will fight. They are big, powerful birds.”

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A swan with her cygnets. Photo: Wayne Badresingh

Following the incidents, Wayne says the birds have been left distressed after one of the swans targeted on Wednesday had all her cygnets taken.

Wayne said: "Having had all her babies taken she is left absolutely broken. She’s been lying there for days, head tucked in.

"It looks more than likely that she’s been hit/kicked really hard during the attack.”

Northumbria Police have said regular patrols are in place in the area and officers are monitoring the situation.

A spokesperson said: "Police received a report of concern for swans at Herrington Country Park in Houghton, Sunderland on Saturday, May 15.

“At around 10.15pm officers attended the scene and spoke to the caller, but at this time no offences appear to have been committed.

“Regular patrols remain in the area and officers will be monitoring the situation.

“Our dedicated Wildlife Officer is also working closely with the local authorities and the community to ensure the safety and protection of the wild animals within the area.”

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