Dogs to blame for fatal swan attacks
THE public must keep their dogs under control near swans after a spate of fatal attacks, a royal official has warned.
David Barber, the Queen’s swan marker, spoke out before carrying out the annual population census along the Thames.
He reported that a number of birds had died after being injured by dogs while nesting on the river, and there were also reports of egg theft and vandalism. “We are hoping for an increase in cygnet numbers in 2016, as the total number recorded during 2015 was a disappointing 83, compared to 120 in the previous year.
“Once again this year, vandalism has affected many breeding pairs. Eggs have been stolen and swans have been attacked by dogs while on their nests. Sadly, some of the injuries sustained by the parent birds have been fatal, resulting in young cygnets struggling to survive on their own.”