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Telford swan attacks: Birds rescued from lake will not be returned while danger remains

By Rory Smith | Telford | Crime | Published:

Swans rescued after a series of vicious attacks at a lake in Telford will not be returned back to the beauty spot.

The Friends of Holmer Lake has asked the RSPCA to avoid releasing any swans back into the lake while their safety cannot be guaranteed, and has today launched its Save Our Swans (SOS) campaign in order to prevent future harm coming to the birds.

The initiative is calling on the public to help crowdfund nature cameras to monitor the behaviour and safety of the animals, as well as implementing a number of regular patrols around the lake.

This comes after three swans have been removed from the beauty spot this year, including one that was shot and killed and another that had a metal nut lodged into its beak by thugs using a catapult-like weapon.

One swan was shot and killed, reported to the RSPCA on June 8

A statement given by Connor Furnival, chairman of the Friends group, said: "Over the past two years we have seen an unprecedented increase in harm to local wildlife at Holmer Lake and in recent weeks we have reached the final straw.

"No one cares more for the wildlife at the lake than our volunteers and supporters, and we are proud of our achievements in four years. We cannot and will not let these despicable acts stop us from doing what we love.

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"We will not give in to the actions of mindless yobs and simply walk away. These incidents have only strengthened our resolve and made us more determined than ever to protect our lake and save our swans."

The group formed in 2015 to give residents near the lake in Brookside the opportunity to improve the community, enhance the area and protect wildlife.

Response

The statement added: "At present we are asking the RSPCA not to return any swans to Holmer Lake while their safety cannot be guaranteed. Please be assured that we are working with other organisations to ensure that the swans will be cared for wherever they may go.

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"We have been overwhelmed by the public’s response to this recent tragic news. They have rallied in their thousands to support us and we will be forever grateful. A huge thank you to everyone who has shared our story and pledged to help us.

One of the swans

"Now is time for a proactive and compassionate response. We are asking the community to get behind us and support this important campaign through social media at #SaveOurSwans."

The statement added that the group will work with local schools and other authorities to help bring attention to the issue, while introducing regular patrols of the lake.

It said: "We are clearly a community united over of our shock and sadness at these senseless acts. This disgusting behaviour will not be tolerated by any of us, so let’s work together to make Holmer Lake a safe place for our swans to return.

"We are all accountable for the protection of these animals and the future of our little piece of paradise."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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