Matthew Steeples highlights that not only the appalling case of two swans and five cygnets being shot in Kent but also other problems facing these majestic birds
This summer, on The Serpentine in Hyde Park, I witnessed a Chinese tourist attempting to hug a swan. Though I told him how unacceptable this truly was, he simply shrugged his shoulders (he plainly couldn’t speak a word of English) and attempted to carry on. Though hindered by one of my arm being in a sling, in a slightly wingless fashion, I managed to pull him away and the majestic yet wrongly targeted bird waddled off into the water.
Yesterday, an even more shocking case of “swan abuse” was sadly highlighted with news that that two swans and five cygnets had been found wrapped in plastic bags and thrown in a stream in Benenden, Kent. After X-rays of the birds were taken it was revealed that these innocent creatures were peppered with pellets and thus victims of what an RSPCA inspector, Dave Grant, termed an “absolutely disgusting” attack.
Given that virtually all swans in England and Wales are owned by the Queen, it has been suggested that the birds were targeted due to their association with royalty. Stephen Knight of the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton, Middlesex remarked:
“The reason they pick on swans is because it is widely know that they belong to the Crown, so they are a symbol of the establishment.”
“The kind of people who do this are faceless bullies that have got no moral compass. Someone once posted a gag that was titled ‘how to upset the Queen.’ It included a picture of a gun and swan, which was locked in a cage. After that we saw a little spike in shootings.”
Elsewhere, it has been revealed that the “Bin the Bread” campaign to stop people feeding swans bread has resulted in many of the birds now being underweight. In comments to The Telegraph, the Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber, Member of the Royal Victorian Order, remarked stated “there is no good reason” not to feeds swans bread. He remarked that many now wander the roads and put themselves in further danger whilst looking for food and added:
“Supporters of the campaign claim that bread should not be fed to swans on the grounds that it is bad for them. This is not correct. Swans have been fed bread for many hundreds of years without causing any ill effects.”
“While bread may not be the best dietary option for swans compared to their natural food such as river weed, it has become a very important source of energy for them, supplementing their natural diet and helping them to survive the cold winter months when vegetation is very scarce.”
“There is no good reason not to feed bread to swans, provided it is not mouldy.”
“Most households have surplus bread and children have always enjoyed feeding swans with their parents.”
Twitter: @SteepleTimes and @M_Steeples
It’s not a good sign and may be that the popularity of the Royals is beginning to wain. Too many good people are being affected in every area of the UK either by having their babies snatched, businesses, homes, elderly relatives stolen and anything else the greedy establishment can get their grubby hands on. The Queen reckons she has no power over her ‘elected’ Government yet this doesn’t wash any longer. The people seem to be waking up!
Elderly relatives are stolen???
Thank you for posting this Matthew. Having lived by the [rural] Thames all my life we have long known that feeding bread to swans has become part of their staple and does NOT cause them harm. The adverse campaign, no doubt started by a bunch of ignorant brainwashed twats, is utter cr*p. As a Thames-side youngster we all fed our river birds bread and swans in particular would chase us from our kindred fishing nets to nick our bread, and worms, and in later years would kick our arses to munch our fishing bait maggots. Yet never have I seen a harmed swan in any way similar to the horrific and sickening pictures that circulate online. You only have to look at the Swan Sanctuary’s gallery of images to fully understand what I mean. But be warned… there are some truly gut-churning pictures than sicko man has caused to them 🙁
Hyde Park lake has become a dump as too many unscrupulous passers by throw plastic waste and cigarettes in to the water , without any respect or care for the swans and ducks . Some stupid tourists try and hold down the poor bird down to take a pic , without thinking that they may be harming the bird , the situation is bad and unfortunately there seems no remedy available other than educating the public to respect nature and animals.
If I got hold of the killer(s), I’d kill them.
I would be glad to lend you a (Slow) hand Eric Andersen……..
I suggest lethal choking with swan droppings……..
Well at least the Chinese tourist wasn’t trying to eat the thing. It’s lucky these animals are protected at least.
I see such awful behavior at the serpentine all the time. just this weekend i took my niece and nephew and had to tell off some unruly arab children to stop chasing the poor birds.