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Ice trapped cygnet swan has a happy ending


By Philip Murray

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The rapid freeze meant much of the pond's surface was icy.
The rapid freeze meant much of the pond's surface was icy.

The sharp freeze brought on by bitter sub-zero temperatures hasn't just posed problems for Highlanders in recent days – it's also created chilly challenges for our feathered friends too.

For worried passers-by initially feared the worst at the weekend after one of the resident cygnets at the Inverness Campus ponds was spotted 'trapped' in ice after the sharp chill caused the water to rapidly freeze around it.

The wee bird's plight sparked a flurry of concerned comments on social media, and calls to animal welfare officers in the hope the wee bird might be spared from a potentially grim fate.

More environment news.

And, thankfully, despite its icy ordeal, the bird is seemingly none the worse for its chilly experience, after Scottish SPCA rescue officers who responded to the call for help found it had managed not only to free itself – but even fly off to join a group of other swans in another pond nearby.

The ice has posed problems for some of the birds.
The ice has posed problems for some of the birds.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer, Natalie Munro, said: “Yesterday, we received a report of a cygnet thought to be stuck in the frozen pond at the UHI Inverness College campus in Inverness.

“When conditions quickly turn freezing, you may see swans or other waterfowl stuck in ice. Often their body temperature is enough to thaw the ice enough for them to free themselves. We’d recommend checking on the bird after 24 hours if possible and, if they are still stuck in the ice, call our helpline on 03000 999 999. Never put yourself at risk around frozen water.

“I had checked on the cygnet around lunchtime and saw them using both legs. When I returned later in the day, they had managed to get free. I was pleased to see the young bird fly off and join a group of other swans in another pond.”

Luckily none of the swans were trapped in the ice on Sunday.
Luckily none of the swans were trapped in the ice on Sunday.

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