Vicious dog attack on swans sparks call for fence at popular Portsmouth lake

INJURED The swan cob back on the lake after being attacked. The picture was taken by reader Lorna Wilkinson
INJURED The swan cob back on the lake after being attacked. The picture was taken by reader Lorna Wilkinson

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CALLS have been made for a permanent fence to be built around a lake after a dog attacked a swan while off the lead.

Dog owners are ignoring signs dotted around Duck Lake, at Milton Common, Portsmouth, which say they need to keep their pets under control.

The call comes after a dog entered the lake and attacked a cob – a male swan – which was with six cygnets on Thursday.

The next morning another dog that was not on a leash tried to attack the same swan, which was resting on the bank.

Lorna Wilkinson and her friends were walking around the lake when they saw what happened. They tried to drag off the dog before the owner restrained his pet by hitting it with an umbrella.

The swan managed to make its way into the water towards its nest.

Mrs Wilkinson, 70, of Milton, said she would contribute to the cost of a permanent fence around the wide bank of the lake if it meant wildlife would be kept safe.

She said: ‘The wildfowl are under constant attack by uncontrolled loose dogs. Their owners are not helping the situation by throwing sticks and balls into the lake. It’s very distressing. I enjoy looking at all the wildlife when I take a stroll around the lake.

‘I’m sure there would be people willing to help with the labour. I would also be willing to donate a sum towards the costs of materials.

‘If a fence is put across the wide bank, protection would be afforded for the wildlife whose home is Duck Lake.’

The RSPCA has assessed the swan’s injuries and the council has put up a temporary fence until further plans are made.

Seamus Meyer, parks and recreation manager, said: ‘It is very distressing to see wildlife attacked, but thankfully the incident at the Duck Lake on Milton Common is rare.

‘We are looking into measures that might help prevent similar situations happening again.

‘We would urge dog owners to be vigilant while their dogs are off leads.’