The Maurice Sparkes Wildlife Site

Next to our wildlife hospital we have an area of woodland containing a large pond. This pond is extremely important in the rehabilitation process of our water fowl species as it acts as a ‘soft-release’ sight. Birds such as ducklings, geese and swans are released onto this area when they are ready to go back to the wild. It helps them to regain strength whilst still being fed daily and closely monitored before they fly off themselves or are released elsewhere by our wildlife team.

Not only is it used for soft release purposes it also inhabits some of our disabled swans and their mate who both or one of which has long term wing issues. They now stay as residents who we care for each day with the freedom to swim and roam as they please.

Though the pond was designed for our wildlife casualties, that doesn’t stop others choosing to visit. We see many other wild species on the pond such as moor hens and herons.

Careless anglers cause suffering

On average we get at least one call per day to a swan in need. Often they have got themselves stranded in shallow water or crash landed and injured themselves. We do also take in regular calls where they are seriously injured such as this little one who had been caught by the Norwich Swan Project.

The NSP were out tagging the swans when they came across this swan who had unfortunately swallowed fishing line. The hook had embedded itself down the swans oesophagus.

Our on-call team rushed out to bring the swan back to the sanctuary where our amazing veterinary team worked into the evening to remove the embedded hook.

This Swan was one of the lucky ones, she received emergency surgery to have the hook removed. She is now recovering nicely on our small release pond. We hope once she's fully recovered to release her back to her home. Our plea to anybody who fishes to please take your hooks and line home and dispose of them in a correct and safe manner. This didn't need to happen!

Happy New Year, Swans!

We successfully released 2 swans back to the wild on 1st January 2020.
Both came in as a result of crash landing, one in the finders garden and the other in a car park. It is always important to call us for help or advice if you have found a swan that has crash landed as there are many reasons as to why the swan may of done so, some of which could be fatal.
So we are thankful to the finders for calling us!
Fortunately, in this case, there was not any major injuries on either swan and they where put onto our
pre-release pond to observe and monitor. Once they were both back to good health and each had gained weight they were released at an appropriate release sight on New Years day!