Thursday, 1 Jun 2023

Two swans killed after being chased and attacked by a dog

Two swans have died on the Isle of Wight after a dog chased and attacked them.

The two birds were attacked on Good Friday in Freshwater, a village at the western tip of the island, at around 5:30pm.

Hampshire Police responded to a call at 7:41pm on April 7 that a ‘medium-sized black dog’ had chased down the birds near Afton Road.

A photograph released by police yesterday shows the pet in an open area by The Causeway that stretches through Afton Park and the Western Yar river.

The first swan, a young adult, died almost immediately at the scene, per the local news outlet County Press.

Jenny Crates, who has long cared for the swans living in the area, told the outlet: ‘People walking at the Causeway on Good Friday afternoon, enjoying the lovely sunshine, were devastated by a violent attack on two of the much-loved swans, by an out of control Labrador, who savaged the swans and was unable to be stopped by the young couple who had let him off the lead by the bridge. 

‘The dog had already alarmed a dog owner with a young puppy who had been walking in front of the couple along the path from Afton Road, to the extent that she was carrying her dog to keep it safe. 

‘She was shocked to see them let it off the lead as they got to the river, and it immediately jumped down to the river bank and began aggressing the two swans, who tried to get away.’

Jenny said passersby were ‘shouting’ at the owners to intervene, with the couple wading through the mud flats to catch the dog.

The other swan, their mother, was found in ‘great difficulty’ the following morning, Jenny added.

She said she and other locals took the flailing swan to Carisbrooke Vets in Newport, around 12 miles to the east of Freshwater.

‘They put her on a drip, and found a nasty wound on her lower back, which they cleaned thoroughly and packed out,’ Jenny said.

‘She seemed initially to be doing really well, but she didn’t make it through the night, and died from the trauma and injury.’

The West Wight Neighbourhoods Policing Team said it would like to identify and speak with the people pictured as part of an investigation.

A spokesperson for the force told ‘We were called at 7.41pm on Friday, 7 April, to reports of a medium-sized black dog having chased and killed a swan near Afton Road, Freshwater.

‘The incident reportedly happened at around 5.30pm on 7 April.’

‘We appreciate the image is not the best quality but perhaps you know these people and can recognise them from their clothing and the dark-coloured dog which can be seen in the picture,’ they added.

People are being asked to contact the authorities on 101 quoting 44230137683 with any information or submit a form online.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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