A KIRKBY wildlife expert has issued a hard-hitting warning to dog owners to keep their pets under control after a swan was viciously attacked at Sutton Lawn.
Wendy Radford, who runs Cedar Wildlife Sanctuary with her partner Phil Else, has sent out the message after a male swan, known as a cob, was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on 17th July.
Said Wendy: “He wasn’t very well - he was really struggling and he was in shock. He was cold and feeling pretty sorry for itself.
“He was a male adult with about five babies and the dog attacked him on the land so he (the dog) had an advantage. As soon as the swan got back into the water, it turned on the dog and then I think the dog left it.”
The person who reported the attack to Wendy, who has asked not to be named, said the dog’s owner was apparently distracted at the time of the incident.
She said: “The owner may not have known that the attack was taking place as he was busy doing press ups and sit ups at the time.
“A witness to the attack would not leave details for fear of reprisals, however, surely a report could have been done anonymously? Swans, after all, are a protected species. Had the attack happened on the water, the outcome could well have been different - well, for the dog anyway.
“It is quite sad that a lovely breed of dog is going to be tarnished by the actions of one dog owner.”
The swan, who has now been returned to the lake at Sutton Lawn, was badly injured during the attack and wounded around its tail and wings.
But there is a fear the dog may have punctured its skin, which could become infected.
Added Wendy: “That’s why we had to bring him in. He’s been on antibiotics and he was pining for his female and his babies.”
Now Wendy is calling for dog owners to be more vigilant, especially around the lake area of the Lawn.
She said: “They could put it on a lead around that area. If the dog had gone into the lake first of all, he could have been killed by the swan. And people should be a little bit more concerned about wildlife.”
Her plea was echoed by the passer-by, who reported the incident.
She said: “Should Ashfield District Council decide that dogs should be kept on a lead when the wildlife have youngsters, say between February and December, then I am quite sure that this would go a long way to protecting our wildlife for future generations.”