Friday 24 November 2017

Watch: Happy ending as DSPCA rescues and releases swans drenched in oil

Robin Schiller

A herd of swans found drenched in oil by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) have been released back into the wild after two weeks of cleaning.

It's believed the swans, which were found in South Dublin, were affected by illegal oil dumping. It takes a few hours to thoroughly clean each swan, according to DSPCA spokesperson Gillian Bird.

"The detergent we use strips the contaminant, but it also strips the swans' natural oils, which they need. Before we release them, we have to wait for them to to preen themselves to get those oils back," she said.

"These kinds of oil spills are not uncommon, but they are infrequent. It's hard to find out where the contaminants come from."

Despite the level of contamination, all swans survived and were released yesterday. The above video was originally posted to the DSPCA Facebook page.

The spill, which is believed to have originated in the south west of the city, reached the Sean Walsh park in Tallaght, the Goldenbridge area and the canal.

Ten swans were affected.

A spokesperson for the organisation confirmed that eight of the birds were taken from the park in Tallaght and one each from the other two locations.

It has not yet been confirmed if the three incidents are linked.

One theory is that the spill may have gone upstream from the park in Tallaght and spread into a river that links with the canal.

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: "The council's pollution officer and environment staff were quickly on site carrying out an investigation and clean-up of the incident so as to minimise any environmental damage."

The incident is under investigation to identify the source of the pollution.

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