Children 'harass' swans in 'disturbing' attacks at popular park

The youngsters entered an enclosed area of Glasgow's Victoria Park and attacked at least one of the birds with a stick.

Children as young as six carry out ‘disturbing’ attacks on swans at popular Glasgow park LDRS

A group of children as young as six have reportedly attacked swans in a Glasgow Park in what was described as a “disturbing” ordeal.

Scotstoun residents are being urged to look out for antisocial behaviour in Victoria Park after a group of swans were allegedly attacked there last week.

Regular park visitor Rebecca Garrett, claims she saw a group of young boys, aged between six and ten who had entered the enclosed area where the birds nest and harass the swans last Monday evening. 

Ms Garrett said that the young boys were attacking one in particular with a stick in what she described as a  “disturbing” and a terrifying ordeal for the creature. She then informed the Friends of Victoria Park social media page who confirmed they had reported the incident to the police via 101.

Ms Garrett said: “Something disturbing happened last week when I was in Victoria Park.

“While sitting, reading my book, I was alerted to a lot of jerring and screaming coming from the gated-off area that encloses the smaller pond where the ducks and swans nest. There was a group of around eight or nine young boys – I’d say ranging in age from about six to ten – who were harassing the swans. 

“They were chasing one in particular, running after it and trying to whack it with big sticks. The swan was clearly terrified and trying to flap away from distress. As I rushed over to tell them to stop, a couple who were walking nearby shouted at them to get out. 

“Thankfully they kids did as they were told but I just hope the swans are okay. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen folk letting their kids run riot around that gated section, which is no doubt distressing for the birds, but actually really violent. 

“While I don’t think the kids managed to catch up with the swan to cause any injury, the poor thing must have been traumatised.”

It is illegal to kill, harm or disturb swans in any way as the birds are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Glasgow North West Police has since confirmed online that they would continue to monitor Victoria Park following ongoing concerns from residents about anti-social behaviour and to report any concerns to 101. Police Scotland has been approached for further comment.

Glasgow City Council are now asking visitors to treat the park with the respect is deserves. 

“A spokesman said: “It’s very concerning to hear of any incident where the city’s wildlife is put in harm’s way.

“Swans are a protected species and a much-loved feature of many of Glasgow’s open spaces.

“Like any wildlife, a swan can be very unpredictable if attacked and those involved were potentially putting themselves at risk.

“We ask that all visitors to our parks treat the city’s wildlife with respect and consideration at all times.”

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