Swans on road to recovery

SURVIVING swans from the oil spill at Ipswich docks are on the road to recovery today as discussions continue about prosecuting those responsible.Most of the birds coated are said to be flapping their wings in frustration to get back to their home.

SURVIVING swans from the oil spill at Ipswich docks are on the road to recovery today as discussions continue about prosecuting those responsible.

Most of the birds coated are said to be flapping their wings in frustration to get back to their home.

However as reported earlier this week, despite the attempts of RSPCA staff at East Winch Wildlife Centre, at Kings Lynn, one of the birds died after swallowing too much of the toxic oil.

The other 23 birds are back to their pristine condition thanks to a lot of scrubbing by volunteers, and are fighting fit ready for release in the coming weeks.


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The spill happened when two and a half tonnes of diesel leaked into the water on the Cliff Quay terminal early on Friday.

RSPCA spokeswoman Helen Briggs said: "It took only about an hour to clean each bird, which is quite quick.

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"We were lucky that the oil was a type that is fairly easy to clean off, but it got right down to their skin which made things more difficult.

"The bird that died was very badly oiled and may have ingested a lot of the oil.

"The survivors will be released within the next week or two but we are not sure where yet.

"It depends whether the water has recovered at he dock, if there is still oil about they will have to be released elsewhere."

Working in pairs one volunteer held the swan steady while the other set to work with the cleaning tools.

So far nobody is facing prosecution over the incident and it is up to the port authority to press charges.

Ipswich port manager Robert Smith said: "We have no further news at present. Discussion are under way about a prosecution but we have not yet come to a decision."

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