Swan rescued from John Orwell shows little interest in hockey

The Wapping swans have recently been helped out (again) by the the Swan Sanctuary, Shepperton and local residents.  A pair of swans (believed to have been those recently seen on Hermitage Basin) appeared on the canal path on the 21st of January and the resident pair of swans were none too happy.

This resulted in the male canal swan chasing off one of the interlopers who flew off – and landed in John Orwell sport centre. See below for full story and photos. But if you can’t be bothered to read any further then just click the button below and give some money to the Swan Sanctuary. Thanks!

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IMAG1519-3This is what happened on the evening of the 21st, thanks to Sebastian & Naomy for the words and photo.

“We came to feed the birds after work as usual and found a stranded swan on the canal path which didn’t seem to be well. 

He was letting people approach him and was not eating the bread we gave him.

The male swan of Wapping canal was behaving aggressively towards him so there was no chance for him to reach the water.

We were worried he would get attacked by a fox during the night so we called the Swan Sanctuary who came to rescue him (see photo right).

They took him away and will release him with a flock once he is well.”

Many thanks to Sebastian & Naomy for calling the Swan Sanctuary!

But what of the other swan?

On the morning of the 22nd our Wildlife Rangers, always on standby except when they aren’t, received an email from Gilly Hanna who lives next to John Orwell telling us that she had spotted a swan in John Orwell and was a little worried as a fox was stalking it.

The swan in John Orwell car park
The swan in John Orwell car park

She and her partner tried to get the swan to fly off but it seemed incapable of flying. Could the Wildlife Rangers help?

You got a swan in here?

Recognising the gravity of the situation and having nothing better to do anyway we decided to employ the entire Wildlife Rangers team, despite the fact they would have to walk all the way up Tench Street to reach the scene of the incident. Dedication.

Hockey? What's that then?
Hockey? What’s that then?

On reaching the scene the swan was found to be loitering in the car park as Gilly had said. Gilly turned up and an immediate Swan Case Conference ensued.

Volunteer animal rescue expert Jurgen approaches the swan
Volunteer animal rescue expert Jurgen approaches the swan

The result of the conference was that the Swan Sanctuary would be called – again – and we would take it in turns to keep an eye on the swan until they turned up.


Fortunately the Wildlife Rangers – all of them – did not have to wait too long although they were getting a little chilly.

The swan didn’t seem to fussed about things and spent quite some time contemplating the hockey pitch.

Now for the tricky bit...
Now for the tricky bit…

Within an hour or so Jurgen the Swan Sanctuary volunteer arrived and did his thing. He rescues foxes too. Top man.

One swan in the bag.
One swan in the bag.

The Wildlife Rangers helped put the swan in the bag which was, er, interesting.

Jurgen made this all seem really easy. It's not.
Jurgen made this all seem really easy. It’s not.


The good news is that this swan was taken to the same flock as it’s mate rescued the previous evening so they are by now reunited.

"I was expecting something a little more posh, but it will do."
“I was expecting something a little more posh, but it will do.”

All’s well that ends well!

A big thanks to Jurgen and the Swan Sanctuary and of course Seb, Naomy and Gilly.

Off to the Swan Sanctuary
Off to the Swan Sanctuary


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