Swan dies after horrific park attack

Cygnet injured by a dog attack at Tilgate Lake with John Potts from Swans and Friends Bird Rescue based in Copthorne SUS-170409-124403001
Cygnet injured by a dog attack at Tilgate Lake with John Potts from Swans and Friends Bird Rescue based in Copthorne SUS-170409-124403001

A young swan has died after being left with horrific injuries when it was mauled by a dog in a park attack.

The cygnet was rushed to the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton after the attack in Tilgate Park, Crawley, on Saturday but died yesterday.

Now a call has gone out for CCTV cameras to be installed in the park.

The cygnet is the third to die from the same family of swans nesting at the park’s lake.

Earlier this year, the male ‘father’ swan was also attacked by dogs, but recovered after treatment.

Dog owner Clare Hill, who regularly exercises her pet in the park, and witnessed the attack on the cob, said: “Everyone says they want dogs kept on leads, but why should responsible owners who keep their dogs under control be penalised?

“I think CCTV cameras should be there which would also help with many other issues of anti social behaviour.”

And John Potts, of the Copthorne-based Swans and Friends Bird Rescue called for Crawley Borough Council to take action.

He said by-laws were already in place stipulating that dogs must be kept under control. “It’s a sad thing. You get these people who think that it doesn’t apply to them because their dog is well-behaved. But any dog, at any time, can turn. It’s just a very sad state of affairs.”

He said he felt nothing would change until someone was prosecuted.

He added: “What if a small child were in a white dress close-by looking similar to an adult swan? Maybe something would be done.”

Meanwhile, people took to social media after Saturday’s attack and spoke of their horror at what had happened.

They complained at irresponsible dog owners allowing their pets to chase wildlife in the park and called for owners to be fined.