Thames21 River Cray volunteers came to the assistance of a cygnet at the Fiver Arches on Saturday. The volunteers were working by the river at Foots Cray Meadows (Bexley) when people began to report that one of the cygnets had a length of fishing line hanging from its beak.
RSPCA Inspector Thomas responding to the call was happy to enlist the Cray Team to help with the separation and capture of the cygnet. Indeed it was our very own Ron ‘The Swan’ and his alacrity with the swan hook that brought the bird to a safe capture enabling the Inspector to remove the offending hook and line. The young Swan was returned to family and habitat, apparently none the worse for its brief spell in captivity and hopefully recovering from its hook ordeal. The eight cygnets are quite large and should now go on to learn to fly over the winter before the parents send them on their way ready for a new brood next year.
Well done to all involved a job well done. What this incident does remind us; is that at the Five Arches people and nature come very close together. So whilst enjoying this ever popular open space we must be mindful of our responsibility towards the wild animals and natural environment. Pet dogs will be dogs and the adult swans will swiftly and aggressively react to protect their young. Fishing Tackle! This area is a Local Nature Reserve and Fishing has been banned for many years.
Be aware be responsible and enjoy the Meadows.
Michael Heath River Cray Project Officer
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