MYSTERY surrounds the death of three baby swans which collapsed and died in Stratford.
Former Stratford mayor Cyris Bennis, who has looked after the town’s swans for more than 40 years, found three cygnets struggling along the canal on Friday (May 10) while their parents tried to protect them. The three cygnets later died.
The bodies were later recovered and tested by vets at The Ark Veterinary Practice who found they had died from liver failure caused by a viral infection – but the cause of the infection remains unknown.
On Sunday another two cygnets disappeared and it is feared they could also be dead.
Mr Bennis said he had never seen anything like it in his some 40 years caring for the town’s swans.
He said: “It’s very strange for three cygnets to collapse simultaneously. In all my years on the river I’ve never witnessed anything like this.
“It was very sad to watch knowing they were dying.
Environment agencies have been contacted regarding the recent deaths and Mr Bennis says he will be increasing patrols along the river.
He added: “As this may not be the only case, I’ll be discussing this with other agencies, as this could have implications for other river wildlife.
“I’ll be keeping a close watch on the river.”