The Dead Swan

I feel so sad to be typing this.  Earlier today, I was walking along the river that runs along to the Brayford, when I saw something in the water.  I had to look twice; I thought at first it was a carrier bag, although it was too big.  Then I saw that it was a swan.  I was running late to meet a friend so I carried on walking, although as I did so I called another friend to ask if he could get me the number for the RSPCA.  I felt it was my responsibility to report it to someone.

I called various different organisations including DEFRA (Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs), the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, the out of hours veterinary practice) but was told that it was the local council’s responsibility.  Unfortunately Lincoln City Council had just closed.  Online I had found information suggesting that the deaths of single or more swans (and other certain birds) should be reported, to allow for screening of bird flu.  

As there was nothing I could do, I met my friend but when I returned home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the poor swan. 

Maybe it’s the fact that since moving to this part of town last August, many a time I’ve wandered along the path that runs down by the river.  There’s always birds on there; ducks, geese, other birds that I didn’t know what they were called and of course, swans.  Lincoln is well known for its swans.  Brayford Pool, next to which the University of Lincoln is situated, has many swans. 

I remember in the summer I walked along the riverside path.  There, to my amazement I saw a family of swans.  Daddy, Mummy and three babies.  As I used to walk along that path most days, I would almost always see the five of them together, sometimes just on their own, or with the other ducks or seagulls. 

Recently I have only seen one baby with the parents, although I’ve seen some baby swans, identifiable by their grey feathers, amidst the flock of swans on the Brayford. 

Maybe that is why I feel so upset right now.  I always felt like I looked out for the family of swans, to see how they were doing, how they stayed together.   

I don’t know whether the dead swan I saw was a baby or an adult swan.  As soon as I realised what it was I started walking again.  Kind of like when I see a dead cat by the side of the road; I couldn’t bear to look. 

I’ve done all I can.  I even tried contacting the council’s out of hours emergency repair number to see if they could advise me of the department I should talk to but no reply. 

I feel so sad that Lincoln has lost one of its finest creatures.  Like the beautiful cathedral that sits high up on the hill, watching over us all, the swans are a reminder of one of the beautiful parts of the city.  I for one won’t be able to walk along that path any more without thinking of the dreadful sight I came upon today. 

I will be walking down that path around 7:45am tomorrow.  Before the council opens.  It’s possible that someone else saw the swan after me and successfully managed to report it, or even removed it themselves (as was suggested to me).  If not, I shall be arriving at the Siren FM studios, ready to co-present The Midweek Drive Morning Edition as usual, but with a very heavy heart. Plus, no doubt, a tear in my eye.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rachelle
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 21:20:00

    I would just like to say i was the friend!!


  2. Lauren grant
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 19:49:37

    Hi there i just wanted to say i have also seen this swan and was still there on monday :-(. Poor thing! My partner and me have noticed the dwindling numbers in birds that are down there now. There was 4 baby swans in the summer then it went down to 1 and also the white ducks there was 3 of those now are 2. My 4 yr old daughter saw the dead swan it wasnt very nice and im sure many other kids have seen it :-(, The council havent botherd about moving the dead swan and i think everything u have said above is right. Such a shame well done for sharing this and making people aware xx


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