Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Gabriel's Wings

A few weeks ago I received an email from a Lady called Wendy Grocott - Jones down South on Merseyside.Wendy and her friends of Sankey Canal Swans, suspected one of their 2 month old cygnets called "Gabriel" was developing Angel Wing and was looking for guidance on the internet as to what could be done to help. 

The local RSPCA wanted to Euthanise it, but Wendy was determined to save it if possible. After discovering the Trust website and sending me a few photo's, I was able to confirm that the cygnet was indeed developing angel wing.

Having previously cured one of our cygnets  called "Lefty " a few years back, I was able to pass on my experience, advice, and reassure Wendy that their cygnet Called "Gabriel" was curable at this early stage. Wendy and her friends took decisive action and managed to get the cygnet to the Yorkshire Swan Hospital where it was treated successfully and cured of the Angel wing.

 This condition can be inherited or caused by a high protein diet. In this case I feel it may well be an inherited condition since the development was on both wings and at too early stage to be a protein problem. When the wings grow outward from the body, the cygnet will be unable to fly and possibly be attacked and killed by the parents if unable to fledge.
Full marks to Wendy and her friends of Sankey canal and Yorkshire swan hospital , for saving "Gabriel" the cygnet. It's good to know that there are people all over the country who take the welfare of their local wildlife seriously, whether it be on a canal, garden or riverside.  


Wendy Grocott-Jones said...

Thanks so much for all your advice, interest and reassurance, Joe. The cygnet, named Gabriel, was cured of Angel wing at the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital and was returned to our canal. At first it looked as if the family had accepted him back but a few hours later with the interference of a lot of mallards, the cob, known as Vulcan, started to chase the cygnet away and then a couple of the siblings joined in. Every time we could get him back with the pen it seemed to calm down but then the ducks were chased again and the cygnet was chased away too. When the cob and a sibling tried to grab the cygnet by the neck and he was chased to the end of the canal pound, he was lifted off and put on the lower pound for his own safety. He has remained there ever since. He seems happy and content and is feeding well. The pen, known as Venus, has visited him a couple of times, encouraging him to exercise and feed. She has always returned to the family of six other cygnets and the cob on the upper pound. Several people give Gabriel some supplementary feeds of corn, shredded lettuce and freshly pulled grass every day. We all hope that Gabriel will fly away with the others when the time is right and that he will lead a full and healthy life as a wild Mute swan. Thanks again, Joe.

jayteescot1 said...

Hi Wendy,
Glad to hear he has had the Angel wing fixed, thanks to your efforts.

Looks like you have the perfect set up for him meanwhile, We have found in the past that some cygnets get the heave ho before the others. It might be because they are dominant males or getting too interested in their siblings. I am pretty sure when the time comes they will all fledge and spend the next few years attached to other flocks of immature swans - until it's time to find a mate when 3 or 4 years old.

Regards Joe

EmmaShaw said...
Photographed on 6th November 2016
By Emma Shaw

jayteescot1 said...

How great to see Gabriel in such splendid condition ! You all did a great job down there, and I'm sure Gabriel will do just fine .