Walkers report swan thieves to police... only to find they are RSPCA inspectors!
Confused walkers called police when they mistook RSPCA
officers for swan thieves.
Onlookers reported the suspected swan-napping when they saw a
man putting the bird into a cage and walking away with it at Manor
Park, West Malling.
Kent Police investigated the case - but the alarm proved false
when it was found the wildlife officers had been on the site
rescuing an injured bird.
The real crooks turned out to be the swans themselves, as the
casualty - one of three grown up cygnets - had been injured in a
territorial dispute, having hit a tree while being kicked off the
lake by its parents.
“The adults chase the old cygnets away so they can start
breeding,” said Kent County Council head ranger Tim Bell. “It’s
normal behaviour. They get to an age when they cease to be children
and they become rivals.
“If there isn’t enough food or enough space, the adults will
“A member of the public saw the injured swan and reported it, so
the RSPCA took it from there. They decided to remove them all. They
haven’t been harmed.”
The birds will now be relocated to a larger lake with enough
“Manor Park is quite a small lake and can only support a couple
of swans,” added Mr Bell.
“The adults here used to attack dogs and people and all
“We always report an injured bird in case a dog gets them.”
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