Update on Dog attack on swans

Update 9 June 2018

The swan family has now been returned to Pen Ponds, after nearly 2 weeks care and treatment at the Swan Sanctuary. They have done an excellent job restoring the adults to health and are to be congratulated.

The Swan Sanctuary relies entirely on voluntary donations. If you would like to join the Friends in making a donation, please go to The Swan Sanctuary


An attack on a family of swans at Pen Ponds by dogs bathing and not on leads, according to eye witness reports, has left the female 'pen' injured and the male 'cob' suffering injuries so bad that it will takes weeks to make a recovery.

The pair have been a fixture at Pen Ponds for around 10 years (a ring on the cob indicates he is 15 years old) and both adults and their six cygnets have had to be removed from the Park for special care at the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton.

The Royal Parks' Head of Operations, Simon Richards, said that the cob was lucky to survive the attack "This has happened eight or 10 times in the last year, where we've had to take them to the Sanctuary.”

The Royal Parks said it had experienced a "spate" of dog attacks in recent days, with this incident occurring on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th May.

This is a truly tragic incident and it is not yet known if the swan family will ever be able to return to their home at Richmond Park.

The swans were featured on the BBC's Springwatch, screened on 4 June (which was filmed before the attack).    

Keep dogs on leads near wildlife

Dog owners should always keep their dogs on leads anywhere near wildlife in the Park and preferably at all times in Richmond Park to ensure wildlife safety. During the spring and summer, there are many young animals, from deer to water fowl, which are vulnerable and their parents will be highly protective and aggressive.  Around Pen Ponds, there are signs informing dog owners to keep dogs on leads but it seems these were ignored. 

Swans recovery appeal

We would like to raise at least £1,000 for the treatment of the swans. If you would like to contribute, please go to The Swan Sanctuary It relies entirely on voluntary donations.