A swan, found trapped between fencing and a tube line in Wembley, was rescued and subsequently released into the Grand Union Canal.
A concerned member of the public noticed the bird displaying signs of weakness and lethargy on Saturday (18 November) and promptly contacted an animal welfare charity. Inspector Mike Beaman, along with fire and rescue officers from the London Fire Brigade, responded to the call and successfully intervened in the situation.
Mike said: “A member of the public spotted the swan by the fence looking lethargic and called us thinking it was injured.
“When I arrived, I realised the swan had got stuck between fencing for houses and the tube track and high trees, so had no space to take off.
“I called the local fire and rescue service for back-up and we managed to set two ladders up at either side of the fencing and managed to lift the swan into my bag and hand her to me.
“I checked her for injuries, before releasing her beside the nearby Grand Union Canal where she swam off at speed.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the London Fire Brigade for their assistance. We’re always incredibly grateful for any help we receive from them.
“We work very closely with the emergency services and their highly trained crews have assisted in many animal rescues over the years.
“Like any member of the public, the RSPCA can request the help of the fire and rescue service when there is a question of health and safety and we are unable to access and rescue an animal in trouble ourselves.
“Some crews use animal rescues for training but emergencies involving people will always take priority. In some cases crews attend to minimise the risk of members of the public attempting to carry out rescues themselves and potentially putting themselves in danger.”
In England and Wales, the RSPCA stands on the frontlines, tirelessly rescuing animals from peril and distress every day of the year, serving as their primary lifeline. As winter approaches, the charity urges individuals to participate in the Christmas rescue initiative, contributing to the assistance of more animals in dire situations, such as the recent swan rescue.
For those witnessing an animal in distress or concerned about its welfare, please visit the RSPCA website.