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Firefighters and wildlife rescue team save trapped and injured swan at Gravesend

Firefighters were called to help a wildlife rescue team save an injured swan after it became stuck in mud beside the River Thames at Gravesend.

Volunteers from Kent Wildlife Rescue Service were sent to Gravesend Promenade at around 11.20am on Sunday when the charity received a text message report of a swan trapped in riverside mudflats.

Firefighters and Kent Wildlife Rescue Service team members rescued an injured swan from the riverside in Gravesend. Picture by Jason Arthur(21895444)
Firefighters and Kent Wildlife Rescue Service team members rescued an injured swan from the riverside in Gravesend. Picture by Jason Arthur(21895444)

Lorraine St John, who founded the charity, said her colleague Jan Hooper tried wading out to the injured bird but was unable to reach it, so they called for the assistance of firefighters.

Gravesend based crew manager Daniel Bowles was among those on the scene.

"It was too far out in the mud," he said. "We used a 'reach and rescue pole' - we had to snare it round the neck and then pull it in."

Lorraine said the swan was taken to Trinity Vet Centre in Maidstone - which specialises in exotic animals and is able to deal with wild birds - where it was treated for a dislocated knee.

The swan was set to be driven to The Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton, Middlesex, today.

Gravesend Promenade and riverside. Image from Google Maps (21905977)
Gravesend Promenade and riverside. Image from Google Maps (21905977)

"It might now be classed as a disabled swan, because of the possibility of arthritis setting in," said Lorraine. "If that's the case he will live at the Sanctuary - it's an amazing place.

"If it's repairable and they decided the bird is young enough and healthy enough, he will be coming back to the promenade."

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