A “WELL-LOVED” Wirral park swan has been put down after suffering from suspected bird flu.

On Saturday, April 13, the RSPCA attended Birkenhead Park with a ranger following reports of a sick swan.

After being assessed by a vet it was believed the swan, who had been swimming in “tight circles” and stopped eating, had suspected bird flu and he was put to sleep.

Wirral Globe: The RSPCA rescued the swan from Birkenhead ParkThe RSPCA rescued the swan from Birkenhead Park (Image: Friends of Birkenhead Park)

An RSPCA spokesperson told the Globe: “The RSPCA attended the location on Saturday with a ranger from Birkenhead Park following reports of a very poorly swan.

“The bird had initially become tangled up in discarded fishing line the day before and was re-released by one of our officers, but sadly his condition deteriorated overnight - he was starting to swim in tight circles and was showing no interest in food by local people who attended the area regularly to see him.     

Wirral Globe: An RSPCA officer recusing the swanAn RSPCA officer recusing the swan (Image: Friends of Birkenhead Park)

“The swan was caught again by our officers using a boat and was then transferred to the RSPCA's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich to be seen and assessed by a specialist wildlife vet.

“Sadly his condition was extremely poor, with avian flu suspected, and the decision was made to put him to sleep to prevent further suffering.

“It’s an extremely sad outcome as we know this swan was well-loved by local people who enjoyed feeding and seeing him.

“It's been devastating for the RSPCA - and wildlife lovers across the country - to see birds perish from this awful disease.

“Avian flu can be carried by all bird species, but seabirds, waterfowl and birds of prey are the most common species reported.

“It’s a highly contagious disease within birds and it’s important to take all precautions to stop its spread. 

“Sadly, leaving this poorly swan any longer at the location would also have risked the health of the other birds, including his mate.”