Swan that crash landed on roof near Dewsbury in West Yorkshire rescued by RSPCA
and live on Freeview channel 276
The bird landed on the wet roof of an industrial building on Low Mill Lane near Dewsbury and slid on the slippery surface, becoming wedged between the side of the building and a wire mesh fence. The swan would have starved to death had she not been found by a garage owner, who was checking an outside yard and spotted her.
The RSPCA were called and the bird was set free by animal rescue officer David Holgate. He said: “On dark, wet nights it’s so easy for birds to mistake roofs for canals and other water courses. She fell between the building and dropped 15 feet down the wrong side of the mesh fence. There was no way this swan was going to get out of that one and she could well have been there for a couple of days before I got there.
"Luckily for her, the gentleman at the garage has seen her when he’s gone into an adjacent car park used to store caravans. He gave her something to eat and called us out - the only thing to do was to cut a hole in the fence with some cutting equipment he kept in his garage.
"I managed to pull her through the hole and grab her by the neck, although she was quite lively and I had to catch her again as she gave me the slip and was running around the car park. Thankfully she was in good condition and none the worse for her ordeal and she swam off happily, and hopefully wiser, when I released her in the nearby.”
When he attended to rescue the swan, David wore PPE due to rising cases of avian flu and has warned others not to handle waterfowl they come across. He said: “It is best not to touch swans even if they are trapped like this one. Avian flu is a highly contagious disease within birds and it’s important to take all precautions to stop its spread. If you do find a swan or other waterfowl trapped then please call the RSPCA helpline on 0300 1234 999 during the hours of 8am and 7.30pm.”