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Inverness Campus swan chicks killed in dog attack

By Neil MacPhail

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The eight cygnets pictured a week ago by Karen Joyce.
The eight cygnets pictured a week ago by Karen Joyce.

Dog owners have been urged to keep their pets on the lead when walking in Inverness Campus after two recently hatched swans were mauled to death.

The Inverness Courier was alerted to the sad deaths of two of the eight cygnets by Inverness woman Karen Joyce who with her daughter regularly visits and feeds the swans at the campus pond where the same pair of parent birds have been hatching broods for several years now.

This year's brood hatched only three weeks ago.

Karen, who is retired, said: "We arrived at the campus pond on Sunday to find one cygnet dead and one bleeding badly from the back. It was so sad seeing it so mauled and shivering.

"We phoned the SSPCA who came and took the injured cygnet to the vet where they could do nothing for him and he was put down. The vet said it was a dog attack.

"Dogs should be kept on the lead at the campus. Most dogs are with respectful owners and do this."

She added that there were reports of a male with a dog off the lead before Sunday's incident happened, but thought this was only hearsay.

She added that a security card at the campus was very helpful and even wondered if a fence or warning signs for dog owners could erected.

Inverness Campus is owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and a spokesman said: "We received a report on Sunday from the campus security team of a dog attack on cygnets, leaving one dead and a second seriously injured. The SSPCA were called and attended.

"This very sad incident highlights the absolute necessity, especially at this time of year, of keeping dogs under control on the campus and we appeal to any dog owners to do so in future.”

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