Swan is killed in distressing attack at pond

The swan found dead at Milton Common
The swan found dead at Milton Common
  • Anger as owners of dog walk off after gruesome attack
  • Swans are owned by The Queen and people can face jail for killing one
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PEOPLE watched in horror as a dog attacked and killed a swan – and then the pet’s owners walked away.

Phillip Ware and his wife Ginny were taking a leisurely stroll along the shore at Milton Common when all hell broke loose.

They saw a young couple walking two brown working dogs – thought to be vizslas – when suddenly one of the hounds bolted into one of the lakes and grabbed hold of an adult swan.

The dog killed the swan, thought to be a male cob.

The dog walkers then continued to walk northwards despite people shouting for them to come back.

Describing the attack Mr Ware, 67, from Waterlooville, said: ‘We saw two adult swans and in that split second the dog was wrestling and attacking one of them.

‘The man rushed to the edge of the pond and shouted for the dog to come back.

‘There was no way it was going to leave the swan.

‘It kept going and going until it broke the swan’s neck.

‘Then it started to swim across the pond to get to the other swan.

‘By then the owner had gone back to his friend and kept shouting for the dog to come back and leave it. In the end the dog did give up.

‘My wife asked him why the dog was not on a lead.

‘His reply was “When you take dogs for a walk, you take them off the lead”.

‘There’s clear signs that dogs must be kept on a lead. To let them off the lead in that area is ridiculous.’

One of the swans in the family, which includes four cygnets, paddled over to try and defend its relative, but to no avail.

Mr Ware described the incident as ‘horrific’ and was distressed when the couple walked away.

A 50-year-old Fratton woman was walking her dogs and arrived just after the attack.

The woman, who does not want to be named, dragged the injured swan out of the water and called the police and the RSPCA.

She said: ‘I shouted at the top of my voice “Come back here, your dog’s killed a swan, come and sort it out!”. They looked back and carried on walking.’

Swans are property of the Queen and you can be jailed for killing one.

The man was in his early 20s, with fairly long dark hair, and was about 5ft 10in, slim, and wearing a Parka coat and jeans.

The woman was in her early 20s, about 5ft 6in, with brown hair, and wearing a brown Parka coat.

The incident happened at about 1pm on Sunday.

Call police on 101.