Killed with kindness

NINE swans in Lurgan Park have died in the space of just 12 days – from a bacterial infection.

This infection was most probably caused by meats - such as sandwich filling - that have gone off and been fed to them.

Both cygnets and swans are among the dead and the issue has caused great concern for the council officers working in the park - and they are urging the public to only feed birds with appropriate food and to enjoy watching them in all their glory.

“We know that people love to come down and feed the swans but we would strongly urge them to only feed them with appropriate bird feed,” said Leanne McShane, Parks Development Officer at Lurgan Park.

“It has been heartbreaking to watch these magnificent birds dying and to have to pull their bodies out of the lake so we are asking people to help us protect the 16 or so swans we have left on the lake.”

It may be a little known fact but human food is very dangerous to swans and other birds on the lake. Even bread on its own without any filling can do serious harm.

Swans feed themselves on vegetation and insects – the food fed to them by the public is not needed and it is only greed that makes them come to the edge of the lake to feed.

Leanne added: “It’s breeding season and the mothers are already building their nests and we would be devastated to lose any more swans. Please respect the needs of the birds so we can admire them with their new babies in the Spring.”