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Dagenham family help save injured swan that ‘fell out of the sky’ outside their home

PUBLISHED: 17:10 13 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:10 13 November 2020

The poorly swan, injured crash-landing in Dagenham, wrapped in a blanket on the way to South Essex Animal Hospital. Picture: Nicky Murphy

The poorly swan, injured crash-landing in Dagenham, wrapped in a blanket on the way to South Essex Animal Hospital. Picture: Nicky Murphy

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A bewildered Dagenham family turned amateur animal rescuers after a discombobulated swan crash-landed on the road outside their home.

Nicky Murphy, of Manor Road, heard what sounded like “somebody was moving a wardrobe outside and dropped it” on Tuesday night before her daughter, 13, rushed in to tell her a swan had seemingly “dropped out of the sky”.

The swan seemed lifeless with its neck underneath a car when they went out to investigate.

“When I picked it up, I thought it was dead – I couldn’t believe how heavy it was – but I put it on the wall and it then moved,” Nicky said.

She laid it down and gently massaged its neck to try to coax it back to life.

“It came around, I had to prop its neck up so it could breathe.

“There was just a massive panic about what you can do.”

After some frantic searching on Google, they eventually got through to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital in Orsett, hoping the animal charity could send someone to collect the swan.

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Alas, the vet was preoccupied with a badger in Benfleet.

Nicky said: “I thought, a badger?! This is, like, the Queen’s bird.

“But they said unless we get it to them, there’s nothing they can do, so I wrapped it up in a quilt – I felt a bit bad because it was a duck down quilt – and we got in the car.”

The unsettling 20-minute or so late night drive to Orsett with a rather large bird taking up the backseat, unsure how agreeable it would be if it woke up in a fluster, was made longer by a traffic jam caused by a crash.

“All I knew is it could break my arms if its wings flew out,” said Nicky, who was perched awkwardly in the back with it.

After a couple of days on anti-inflammatories and painkillers, the sorry swan was able to walk again and is now recovering in a lake behind the hospital in its “rehabilitation paddock”.

However, this was not an unusual admission for the hospital, which sees several swans each week.

It says they are known to get confused by reflections from the sun or lights on a road and, thinking it’s a lake, come in to land.

This can cause injuries or soft tissue damage, or sometimes just winds them.


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