RSPCA launch appeal after cygnet killed by dog in Exhibition Park

A young swan had to be put down after sufering pucture wounds to her wings and shoulders.

The RSCPA has pleaded for information after a cygnet swan was mauled to death by a dog in Exhibition Park, Newcastle.

The cygnet was found near the pond at the popular park, close to the Town Moor, by an animal volunteer on the evening of Wednesday, September 21.

The young swan suffered puncture wounds to her wings and shoulder - consistent with a dog attack - and after she was taken to a vet it was decided the kindest thing do was to put her to sleep to end her suffering.

The injuries were consistent with the bird having been bitten by a dog and the attack may have taken place after the cygnet and her mother were left stranded and vulnerable when they were chased off the water course.

The swan and cygnet were attacked at Exhibition Park, Newcastle (Image: RSPCA)

RSPCA inspector Rachael Hurst said: “Looking at the wounds the swan suffered it does look like she’s been grabbed by the jaws of a dog. It’s a nasty attack, which demonstrates the need for owners to have their dogs on leads when they are out walking in parkland and at wildlife beauty spots.

“The cygnet was picked up by a volunteer from Paws for Thought, who took it to the charity’s wildlife centre in Sunderland. When they realised how badly injured she was they took her to an out-of-hours vet, but sadly there was nothing that could be done for her.

“Fortunately, the mother was not hurt and she is being cared for at the centre and will be released back into the wild at a later date.”

The attack took place around 6:30 pm near the Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park on Claremont Road.

Injuries sustained with consistent with a dog attack (Image: RSPCA)

The inspector added: “We’d like anyone who knows anything about this attack to ring the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

“We have also asked for CCTV footage, but it was going dark at the time and it might be that someone will have seen a clearer view of what happened.

“It is very sad as the mother swan and her cygnet had only appeared at the pond recently.”

Dog owners have a legal responsibility under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to keep their dogs under control in public places. Swans, their nests and their eggs are also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. More information from the RSPCA can be found here.