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Baby Swan Rescued from Huge Oil Slick

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Baby swan and river birds rescued from huge oil slick stretching from Harlesden to Little Venice
Riverboat residents scrambled to join a dramatic multi-agency operation to rescue swans, river birds and their chicks after a mile-long oil slick polluted waters from Harlesden to Little Venice yesterday afternoon. The Swan Sanctuary team found around 30 birds including geese, moorhens, mallards and a family of swans fighting for their lives and “caked” in a cooking oil-like substance after residents alerted the Environment Agency and the River and Canal trust to an oil slick in the Grand Union Canal near Little Venice. The birds were taken for urgent treatment at the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton, where they are now being cared for by sanctuary trustee Steven Knight, who joined the seven-man rescue operation covering a mile-long stretch of water clogged with the polluting substance. He said: “It was terrible, they were caked in vegetable oil, as you picked them out of the water their feathers were clogged together and the oil was squeezing out and there was a baby cygnet and other small birds. They’re now washed up and recovering in the safe hands of our bird hospital before going into our indoor pool tomorrow.”