'Scary' rogue St Mawes swan gets treatment

Gareth Austin Image copyright Gareth Austin
Image caption The female swan is being treated by the RSPCA for suspected lead poisoning

A swan that has been scaring people in a seaside town may have been sick with lead poisoning, it has emerged.

The female swan has been seen for two weeks in St Mawes, Cornwall, with residents reporting its aggressive behaviour.

It has been blocking the main road into the town and has wandered into shops and cafes.

The RSPCA has taken it away for treatment for suspected poisoning and hopes to return it in two weeks.

Snapped at attendant

Laurence Wood, assistant manager at the St Mawes Hotel, said: "This swan just rocked up in the village. He was on the slipway to begin with and then on the main road and outside the shops.

"The road is quite a small single track road and he's been blocking cars."

Dawn Andrews, from the visitor centre, said a number of people had reported being scared by the animal's behaviour.

"We are just happy that it's going to be safe," she said. "We were concerned that it had lost a mate."

Wayne Hoole, store manager of the Fat Face store, said it had been snapping at a car park attendant.

"It once came in the door and we coaxed him out," he said. "We had to keep the door shut for about 10 minutes because he was going to come back in. It was quite surreal."

Image caption Swans at St Mawes harbour where the sick swan first appeared
Image caption The swan has been wandering into shops and cafes in St Mawes
Image caption One shopkeeper had to shoo the swan out of his store

Krysia Be Kergorlay, who runs bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the town, said: "I understand that because it was weak it may have been expelled by its flock and was seeking refuge on land.

"Hopefully it will be fine and will return to its flock."

The RSPCA confirmed it was treating the swan at a St Columb shelter, and said it was responding "really well".

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