Monday, 12 July 2010

Dog Attacks Swans !

Update for SSPCA.
These were the photos I took this afternoon. She has been bitten on the side as well as the wings. She is still eating and the bleeding seems to have stopped when I saw her this evening.

UPDATE: After a brief inspection this morning , It is obvious I will have to get the SSPCA and get the Pen out to have a closer look at the damage, it looks more serious than I had hoped for.

I am now wondering if this is the same dog that killed a drake in exactly the same spot a few months ago !

Bad news for our Swan Family tonight, they were attacked by a black Labrador around 7pm as told to me by an eye witness - The Pen has been injured. On my usual evening rounds, a lady who lives in a house overlooking the river told me she saw a woman dog walker with a black lab which jumped down the river wall and attacked the Swan family at the side of the river. The Cygnets fled, and the pen fought the dog off but received injuries which I think are to both wings at this stage, I might get a better look tomorrow morning. The Pen is at her most vulnerable this time of the year because she started moulting about 2 weeks ago and is unable to fly, she would have fought to ensure the survival of her cygnets in any case. I saw her in the harbour and took a few shots of her, there is a considerable amount of blood on her back under her wings, and I cant tell if her injuries are only to the wings (which she would have used for defence)or if there are flesh wounds to the back. I phoned my swan injury experts down south for immediate advice. They said that dog bites always result in infection and that I should get antibiotics into her as soon as possible. Because she is with her cygnets it would be too stressful to remove her from them for inspection at the vets. I decided to contact the emergency vet and get antibiotics right away, moray coast vets were good enough to come out to the surgery and give me the appropriate antibiotic. I went down to the harbour where the Swans had retreated for safety, and managed with difficulty to get the pen to take the antibiotic. She always defers to let the cygnets eat all that's going, and only occasionally takes food herself. At the moment she seemed alert and head was not drooping and wings are in correct position, I only hope it is the feather shafts that have been damaged and not the wing flesh or bones. She is the one who teaches the cygnets to fly and it would be a tragedy if she can no longer fly because of this attack !

She will have to be given antibiotics for the next 5 days but if she shows signs of going downhill I will have to catch her and take her for veterinary attention, this would be very traumatic for the whole swan family !

This for me is the last straw regarding the issue of loose dogs around this riverside area. Over the past couple of years I have personally seen dogs on 7 occasions in the river chasing the wildlife. How many have I not seen God only knows ! What I do know is that many ducks have been caught and killed by dogs, witnessed by other people. Only last week a woman told me of a dead duck laying close to the caravan site fence by the bailey bridge. The bottom line is the fact that dogs are predators, and it's quite normal for them to want to chase, catch and kill birds !

The area from the roadbridge to the bailey bridge is only about 300 yards and is home to about 120 ducks , a family of nesting swans, and the only swan nesting site on the river Nairn. The area is also used by a great variety of other species throughout the year. There is no need for dog owners to let their dogs into this part of the river at any time - Period. I will be asking for support from our local river community council and the region, to have signs put round this river area that says, dogs must be kept on leads at all times ! This could have very beneficial effects for all of us, in preventing dog mess from irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs wander freely and mess the paths and river walks. With extendable leads there is no reason to have dogs running freely round this part of the river anyway. It is time we all recognised that the wildlife in this area has to be protected, for it is an asset that Nairn cannot afford to lose !

Another item that would have had a bearing on the dog attack, is also the fact that the very vigilant Swans would not have spotted the danger in time due to the trees growing out of the river walls. These would have hidden the danger until it was too late to take evasive action,
these trees must be removed as soon as possible for they are eroding and undermining the river walls !


Ryan said...

I think you are jumping to conclusions. This injury is most likely from a swan fight, not dogs. Swans can be VERY aggressive and territorial. If a dog had done this, the swan would likely be killed. Go to YouTube and search for Swan Fight, you'll even see that Swans will attack the wings of other swans while fighting, similar to this birds injuries.

jayteescot1 said...

Rheaghen, You are a year behind the times, please continue to read more postings and you will see that there were two witnesses to the black labrador being responsible for the Swans injuries. The owner with two black labs that day has still not owned up !

Anonymous said...

this is what happen when you cut the swans wings off you sick bitch