A swan who lost her mate has been brutally attacked on a Mirfield lake – by another pair of swans.
The female swan, who had lived at Ladywood Lakes, off Steanard Lane, for several years, was left bleeding and exhausted.
She was rescued by a fisherman who called in experts from Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital at Barlow near Selby.
The swan was captured and taken to the sanctuary on Friday. She will remain there for several days but is expected to make a full recovery.
Sanctuary founder Dan Sidley said swans mate for life and, tragically, the swan’s mate was killed in flight a few months ago when he collided with overhead power cables.
Since then she had been alone and vulnerable.
“Swans are quite a ferocious breed and very territorial,” said Dan. “They can be brutal at times.
“Swans mate for life but if one of them dies they do find other partners. We had high hopes this swan would move on after her partner died but that’s not happened.
“Another pair of swans have come onto the lake and there has been a battle for the water and she’s come off worst.
“We’ve taken her in and she’s in a pen on her own while we monitor her. She’s exhausted and seems to be in a state of shock.
“It looks like she was chased around the lake until she could escape no more. Swans are quite hardy birds so she should recover.”
Dan said it would be several days before she could be released back into the wild.
She would be taken back to the Mirfield area, though not Ladywood Lakes.
“We will take her back to the area she is familiar with because re-location can be a bigger problem but we will look for a safer location,” said Dan.
“Hopefully she will find another mate and her own territory.”
The swan is at the same santuary which gave a permanent home to Wilton the Canadian goose, rescued two years ago from Wilton Park in Batley.
The goose had the bottom part of his beak ripped off amid claims he had been attacked by a gang of youths.
Wilton, whose story made national headlines, celebrated his second anniversary at the santuary last week and is fit and well.
The sanctuary never usually gives a home to any wild creature but made an exception for Wilton who has helped raise hundreds of orphan or injured goslings over the last two years.