Swan rescued from vegetable fat

Published: Monday, 15 April 2024

A VERY distressed swan has been rescued from vegetable fat in the Nottingham Canal.

Its condition being blamed on boaters tells Lindsay Newell, founder of Linjoy Wildlife Sanctuary in Etwall.

The swan was noticed in distress in the waterway by Canal Street in Nottingham with a video sent to the sanctuary, with Lindsay visiting the scene, immediately realising the bird's feathers were contaminated with vegetable oil.

Eventually the swan was taken to the sanctuary with Lindsay remarking:

Poured down drains

Vegetable oil and other fats can end up in water courses when they are poured down marina drains, sometimes by canal boaters. Even if you tip deep-fat fryer fat down drains, it goes straight into the river or water course nearby and creates this floating island of fat.

"Once a bird has gone through that, that's it. It gets into their feathers, then when they realise they've got stuff on them, they try and groom it off. That makes it even worse."

In a social media post, the sanctuary explained:


"When oil contaminates the feathers, it strips them of their water-repelling properties, and the bird becomes waterlogged.

"This can result in the swan drowning if they become too heavy. They can also suffer from hypothermia as they have no way of regulating their temperature with the feathers being wet."

It is understood that the swan has been treated and all the oil removed and is doing well.