Wanstead Park swan couple Bonnie and Clyde were separated over the summer following an incident in which Clyde broke his wing. Helen O’Rourke updates on the sad separation
After Clyde was admitted to The Swan Sanctuary with a broken wing, the vet went to great efforts to set the bone in an attempt to try and save the wing. However, it was not healing, and an amputation was necessary. He is still recovering but making good progress.
Over the season, many cygnets receive treatment for illness or injury at The Swan Sanctuary and are unable to return to their family if they have been away too long. When well enough and of a suitable size, these cygnets move to an outside, small ‘natural’ lake to prepare them for a return to the wild. This is called the Nursery Pond, where several long-term or permanently disabled adults accompany them. It was expected Clyde would be one of these adults, but instead, he was moved to a permanent home on the sanctuary’s large lake. He was getting bored being with rehabilitating birds, and a bit aggressive with other patients, so he now has plenty of room to socialise and make bonds with other permanent residents.
Bonnie and her two cygnets have remained on Perch Pond in Wanstead Park. They do not require lifetime care, and although these decisions are never easy, it was considered in their best interests to leave them in their territory and monitor them. We have a team of volunteers who visit twice a day to do this. We believe one of Bonnie and Clyde’s cygnets is male and one is female. The male cygnet is affectionately known as Clyde Junior. Bonnie remains very vigilant and the family is doing well. Although swans do mate for life, it is possible for them to find love again.
We are always grateful for donations to keep the swan ambulance on the road and The Swan Sanctuary also relies on donations to treat and care for admissions. Whilst every effort is made to return patients to their homes, it’s not always possible. And it is illegal to release disabled swans back into the wild.
There are currently six of our local swans under lifetime care at The Swan Sanctuary: Clyde and Mr and Mrs Bob from Perch Pond and Edward, Moon and Shadow from Eagle Pond. You can help to support them by signing up to the sponsor-a-swan scheme, which is an invaluable source of income for The Swan Sanctuary and helps to pay for day-to-day running expenses such as food and veterinary bills. Sponsorship is £15 per swan for a year (you can choose to donate more per swan if you wish). In return for your sponsorship, you will receive details of your particular swan and newsletters throughout the year telling you all the news from the sanctuary. The sponsorship details can be sent to anyone of your choice with a card and message, making it an ideal gift for all swan lovers.
To report a local injured swan or waterbird, call 07970 404 866
To sponsor a swan at The Swan Sanctuary, visit wnstd.com/sponsorswan