A YOUNG swan found entangled in a face mask has been rescued.
Cyril Bennis, from Stratford Swan Rescue, captured and untangled the cygnet from the River Avon yesterday.
He said: “It was a sad sight to see. The mask was wrapped around its body so it was difficult to imagine how, but the elastic is strong and it was not easy to remove. I used a few tactics, and the parent wasn’t impressed. They attack you forcibly so I did have to run away at one point.
“This was certainly a first for me, I’ve never had a situation like that before and I’m at a loss to how it got wrapped around its wing, leg and whole body. It was so lucky that it was spotted and I got a phone call.
“It just shows how important it is to discard masks safely. I expect if it was not spotted the young cygnet would not have survived.”
Cyril was responsible for drastically increasing the town’s swan population in the 80s, after lead poisoning from weights left by anglers and a shortage of food decimated the population.
With help, Cyril set up a swan reserve at the back of the Hilton Hotel, now the Crowne Plaza, where resident swans Tom and Roxanne, named after the hotel manager and Cyril’s wife, set up home. The pair were finally able to produce several broods of cygnets and ultimately the swan population increased.