Wildlife Rescuers Meet Their Match At Chelsea F.C!

Press Release   11 July 2014: Release time immediate

Intrepid wildlife rescuers from the Leatherhead-based Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) met their match recently when an injured swan gave them the runaround for almost 3 hours!

 WAF’s team were called out to the Chelsea Football Club training ground at Stoke D’Abernon to rescue a swan that was in severe trouble as it had somehow managed to get a stick caught in the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) ring attached to its leg.

The swan was on the Football Club’s lake and every attempt by WAF to reach it by rowing boat failed. For several hours WAF’s rescuers, aided by the Chelsea groundsmen, struggled to catch the swan.

 At long last, after pursuing the swan without success for almost three hours, the combined efforts of the rescuers paid off and the swan was retrieved, the stick removed, and – having examined the bird and concluded that it had no serious injuries – it was released back onto the lake.

 WAF founder and chief executive, Simon Cowell MBE, who led the rescue mission, said that it had been “quite a struggle” and that it was “a massive relief when at last we caught the swan”.

 He added that he hoped this incident would be “the beginning of a beautiful friendship” between WAF and Chelsea FC. “It’s great having a world-class football team just down the road from our wildlife hospital but it would be even better if we could work together with them.

“It might not be obvious but there are great synergies between WAF and Chelsea FC. Both organisations are absolutely committed to opening up new opportunities for children – in our case by educating youngsters about the wonders of nature and the countryside.”

The charity deals with over 20,000 wildlife incidents every year. Veterinary staff and volunteers at the WAF wildlife hospital in Randalls Road, Leatherhead, are experienced in  the care of all species of British wildlife.

 WAF also has an active educational programme, and offers free online curriculum resources for schools. To find out more about the Foundation’s work, take a look at the charity’s websites, www.wildlifeaid.org.uk and www.wafeducation.org.uk.

A short video about the Chelsea swan rescue can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/W3xRe4


PRESS CONTACT: Simon Cowell, email simon@wildlifeaid.org.uk, tel 07836 635269, or Andy Smith, email andy@wildlifeaid.org.uk, tel 07737 271676.