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Scottish SPCA and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service rescue swans from sewage works

swans rescued from sewage tanks

The Scottish SPCA recently rescued three swans after they became trapped in disused sewage works.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted to the birds on 20 April by workers at Newbridge Sewerage Treatment Works near Ratho.

Scottish SPCA inspector Jennifer Surgeon said, “The swans had become trapped in the decommissioned sewage tanks. Sadly, one swan had already passed away, so we knew it was imperative that we get the remaining three birds out.

“My colleagues, animal rescue officer Darren Malcolm and senior animal rescue officer Melissa Mailtand, and I tried to retrieve the swans but we were unable to reach them.

“We called the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who were able to assist with the incident.

“In the end it took three fire appliances, around 15 fire fighters and five hours to get the swans out.

“Thankfully the swans were unharmed after their ordeal and we were able to transport them to a safe area for release.

“We’re really grateful to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for their assistance with this incident. Without them, we’d have had no way to reach the swans.”

The Scottish SPCA campaign #WildlifeWise aims to educate the public on when wild animals may require assistance and when it’s best to leave them alone.

The Scottish SPCA animal helpline is open from 7am-9pm every day and can be reached on 03000 999 999. To find out more, about the campaign visit

If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999. We need your support today. From as little as £1, you can save lives. Please support the Scottish SPCA today.