A swan at Cwmbran Boating Lake had to be driven 140 miles for treatment after being attacked by a dog.
The swan is part of the family of ten that were living at Llantarnam Ponds. They had to be moved from there because there was so much concern after they were regularly seen walking in the busy roads.
A spokeswoman for Swan Rescue South Wales said they believed the swans were wandering so much as there wasn’t enough natural food in the ponds.
She said: “About three weeks ago the whole family were seen on their way up to the Three Blackbirds by a friend of ours who rounded them up, brought them back and put them in her back garden where they stayed for about eight days until we could find a more suitable place for them.”
The swans were moved to Cwmbran Boating Lake for their own safety.
She said: “About three hours later we received a very worried call to say the female swan had been attacked by an out-of-control dog. From the teeth marks it was almost certainly a terrier.
“We returned to the lake and caught the swan as she was going to need immediate veterinary treatment.
“Dogs teeth, like those of cats carry a bacteria which needs to be treated with antibiotics. These we were able to obtain from Alex Lewis, a trainee veterinary nurse at the Summerhill Veterinary Group practice in Newport.
“Alex has a special interest in wildlife casualties, and is always extremely helpful when we have emergencies like this. The following day we took the swan to the National Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton in Surrey to be seen by their on-call swan vet. The verdict was the swan was going to need several stitches especially as the sinus tubes had been damaged. That was Thursday.
“The gravity of the injury was such sufficient time needed to be given to be sure the repair had been effective. By Monday, when the vet did her ‘ward rounds’, it was clear the swan was more than ready to be back with her family. She was showing serious signs of restlessness. Thankfully the vet gave her the ‘all clear’. It was the first time we had driven the 140 miles up the M4 with an empty car and for the only reason to actually bring a swan back to South Wales.
“When we arrived at the boating lake we were really hopeful of a joyful reunion but they were all more interested in the bag of bread we were carrying than to even notice mum was back with them again.
“The story had a good ending but the thought of what could have been had the dog been a much larger breed was extremely worrying.
“Signage asking people to keep their dogs on leads at all times around any waters where there is vulnerable wildlife is extremely important and an issue which all local authorities should be aware of not least the veterinary costs involved of putting things right again.”