Swan song | 

Quick thinking Naas locals save young swan caught-up in territorial spat with other swans

Locals separated the birds with sticks and brushes as the two attackers ‘were driving him under the water and trying to kill him’

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

A group of passers-by had to band together to rescue a young swan from an attack this afternoon in Kildare.

The cygnet was set upon by two other swans after they came face-to-face on the canal in Naas.

Quick-thinking locals separated the birds with sticks and brushes as the two attackers “were driving him under the water and trying to kill him.”

Kildare Wildlife Rescue took to Facebook to share a video of the aftermath, where the “intruder” swan was filmed “hiding for his life.”

“Our volunteers were mobilising but were thankfully saved a journey because Waterways Ireland came to the rescue and were able to open the locks, enabling the intruder to escape in the opposite direction,” the organisation explained.

"The resident pair returned to their cygnets after their little adventure. This could have ended very badly for the intruder.”

The organisation congratulated the group of passers-by in Kildare who quickly came to the rescue of the young swan caught-up in a territorial spat with other swans.

It is a common sight at this time of year, as swans battle to protect their young and others ‘fly the nest’ to find their own homes.

Audrey Williams, a volunteer with the organisation, told sundayworld.com that it was a busy day of rescuing the birds.

An ongoing problem with oil and pollution in Balbriggan Harbour is having a “heart breaking” impact on wildlife, she said.

Volunteers have worked to rescue swans from the area, she revealed, including one today who is battling for his life.

“I couldn’t walk away from this,” she said, explaining how she got involved helping out animals in need in Balbriggan.

"There have been deaths here, wildlife and clutches of cygnets have died from this.

"We are hoping it can be fixed by the summertime and when nesting season comes around again.

"Swans will do their best to return to their nests, even when they have been relocated.

"We have been caring for many of them at the centre as there is not yet anywhere for them to go, they can’t go back to the harbour.”

Audrey shared advice to those out-and-about who may see swans and other animals in distress.

"Send a photo or video to info@kwr.ie giving as much detail as possible about the situation so we can assess and send the right volunteer with the right experience,” she said.

She encouraged people to send their contact details and location when they spot an animal in need, so help can arrive as soon as possible.

The non-profit also raises funds for the expensive task of rescuing wildlife like swans, who need veterinary care and special support when in their rehabilitation centre.

Today's Headlines

More Irish News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos