Rescued whooper swan is set free back in to the wild after Christmas stay at WWT Welney Wetland Centre

Whooper release

Whooper release - Credit: Archant

A whooper swan found along the road to WWT Welney Wetland Centre has been successfully released back into the wild.

The swan, which had no obvious injuries but would not take off and fly, was taken to the local RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre for a health inspection.

The female whooper swan was found by Emma Brand, WWT marketing officer, as she returned to the centre after a downpour of rain in December.

She said: “As I made my way back to the centre, I could see a swan in the road. I slowed down and put my hazard lights on to warn oncoming traffic as it was just after dusk and visibility wasn’t great.

“I got out of the car to see if the swan would fly off, in case it had mistaken the shiny road for water and landed by mistake.

“But despite making a normal ‘take-off run’, it didn’t get into the air’.

“I called my colleague, Louise Clewley, at the centre to see if she could bring a swan jacket, at which point we were able to safely catch the swan and check it for obvious injuries,” she added.

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“There were none so we thought it best to contact the RSPCA, in case of an underlying problem.”

The swan spent Christmas with the RSPCA, where she was given a full health check and x-ray to make sure that she was ready to be put back in the wild.

She had legs rings fitted by the RSPCA so she can be identified in the future.

The commentated wild swan feeds at WWT Welney run daily until Sunday 13 March - when they start to migrate to their breeding grounds in Iceland - with special floodlit feeds until 28 February.

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