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Saviour rescues starving swans

PUBLISHED: 21:45 19 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

AN IPSWICH animal lover has saved a flock of swans who were severely under-nourished and on the brink of starvation.

The woman noticed them at Ipswich Dock last month and alerted Alex Smith, who runs a swan rescue service.

AN IPSWICH animal lover has saved a flock of swans who were severely under-nourished and on the brink of starvation.

The woman noticed them at Ipswich Dock last month and alerted Alex Smith, who runs a swan rescue service.

Their saviour, known only as Denny, has been monitoring the swans and feeding them daily for the past six weeks.

She said: "They were lying in the frost and looking cold.

"I had some bread in my car so I stopped and fed them. There were 11 swans, but seven of them were struggling and kept falling to their side."

Denny contacted Mrs Smith, the founder of Swans in Need who went to see for herself the true extent of their plight.

Mrs Smith, said: "They were clearly under-weight and in need of help. When swans are short of food they stop preening, get cold and often die.

"I rescued two swans who are now recovering with me. It was clear that they were very hungry and were under-weight.

"They've had antibiotics and are responding well to treatment and we hope to return them to the water shortly," she said.

Every day Denny and her partner Kevin have been feeding the swans and she said: "I couldn't leave them in the state they were. It was so distressing."

Their generosity has become known among the swan community and each day about 40 of the white birds turn up for their feed consuming 15 loaves of bread each time.

Although bread is not the best source of nutrition for swans, it is better than nothing, according to Mrs Smith.

Anybody considering feeding bread to the swans is asked to break it in to small pieces and throw it in to the water, otherwise the bread gets stuck in the swan's throat and it chokes.

n If any baker's shop has left-over bread there are a lot of hungry beaks that would be grateful. Anyone who can help is asked to contact Mrs Smith on 01206 397251 or John Manuel on 01394 385393.

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