Swans rescued from oil spill at Stourbridge

Published: Friday, 28 February 2020

FOUR Swans covered in oil had to be rescued from the canal at Stourbridge Town Arm.

The RSPCA rescued the stricken birds covered in oil from a drum that had been left by the side of the waterway with no cap that had emptied into the water, Alan Tilbury reports.

StourbridgeSwansBad for birds

Inspectors used a boat to rescue the swans that were taken to Stapeley Grange wildlife centre in Nantwich to be cleaned, explaining that there was oil everywhere in one part, it’s really bad for birds because it affects their plumage and they can ingest it when they are preening.

Deputy Chief Inspector Vicki Taylor helped from the towpath to catch the four swans which were covered in oil and remarked:

A lot of rubbish

“There was a lot of rubbish along the banks, so it’s possible the drum had been dumped. It’s another sad example of how litter is damaging the natural habitats and affecting wildlife.”

"If oil is not removed from water birds it reduces the natural waterproofing in their plumage, leaving them at risk of dying from hypothermia. It is vital that they are treated as soon as possible."

The Canal & River Trust also attended and deployed floating absorbent booms and mats to absorb as much of the oil spill as possible.

Photograph courtesy of RSPCA.