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What has happened to our cygnets?
The mystery disappearance of seven cygnets in just five days from the lake at Cheltenham's Pittville Park has sparked fears for the safety of the last remaining cygnet.
Since Thursday 3 May, seven cygnets have disappeared from a clutch of eight born on 25 April to the only breeding pair of swans found in Cheltenham's public parks. The pair has lived at Pittville Park for some years, and is a popular attraction for families visiting the lakeside.
Senior community ranger Wayne Sedgwick said: "All eight cygnets were alive and well last Thursday but on Friday, only seven were to be seen. Every day since then, cygnets have gone missing. As of this morning, only one cygnet remains."
"The last time we lost a cygnet of this age was in 1991, so to lose seven in such a short space of time is exceptional. Although the circumstances are unclear, it seems unlikely that the cygnets have died from disease."
"Our priority now is to protect the remaining cygnet, and members of the public have a vital role to play. We would urge all dog walkers to keep their dogs on a lead when close to the swans and their remaining cygnet, particularly as the protective instinct of the male swan will now be at its strongest."
Wayne added: "I have seen both of these majestic birds, in my role over the past five years, raise over twenty cygnets. We do not know why this has happened or how but if anybody has seen or heard anything regarding our cygnets could they please call and let us know."
Councillor Chris Ryder said: "This is a very upsetting incident for us and local people who have been enjoying the park this spring. I would urge the public to be vigilant when passing the island where the remaining cygnet and swans are nesting."
If you have witnessed anything or can help with information, then please contact Cheltenham Borough Council's community rangers Stephanie Gadal or Wayne Sedgwick on 01242 250019.
: 10/05/2007 12:41:03
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