Police called as hungry swans make repeated trips to pub for food

The birds were seen hanging around outside Irvine's Rivergate Shopping Centre on several occasions.

Police called as hungry swans make repeated trips to pub for food Scottish SPCA

Two hungry swans required a police escort after repeatedly visiting a busy shopping centre pub for food.

They first arrived outside The Auld Brig Wetherspoons at Rivergate Shopping Centre, Irvine on December 12 and have made several visits since.

The birds were escorted away by officers to nearby water, but soon returned to the pub.

Police then attempted to discourage the swans by taking them further afield to Irvine Harbour, but the animals have reportedly been spotted at the Wetherspoons again.

An animal welfare charity has called on the public to not feed the birds in a bid to stop them visiting the busy location.

Scottish SPCA inspector Katie McIntyre said: “We were first alerted to the swans on 12 December when they were spotted outside The Auld Brig Wetherspoons pub.

“With the help of Police Scotland we managed to get the birds back across a busy dual carriageway to the water.

“However, unfortunately the birds returned. We attended again and transported them further away to Irvine Harbour but we have now received reports they are back again.

“We have checked both swans and they are healthy and in good condition. We assume they are returning to the area due to members of the public feeding them.

“We would ask that if anyone sees these swans at the shopping centre that they don’t feed them as it is a very busy area and could be dangerous for the birds.

“There is also a risk to the public if the swans cause a road traffic accident. We don’t have a way to prevent the swans from coming back to the shopping centre and as a charity our resources are limited so we cannot keep attending and relocating them.

“Our hope would be that if people stop feeding them they will eventually move on and return to their natural habitat.

“If people do wish to feed the swans we’d ask that they do so down at the riverbank or while they’re on the water to encourage them to stay in these areas.”

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