Yes, it’s the latest avian health scare and it’s striking terrifyingly close to home. Swans on the Thames are turning pink.
Even worse, they’re becoming un-waterproof.
Turning pink isn’t such a problem in itself. Flamingos carry off pink superlatively and there’s no reason why modestly blushing swans couldn’t become a major tourist attraction for the Berkshire end of the river. Unfortunately, the pink is discolouration caused by nasty bacteria.
Being pink, bacteria-riddled and un-waterproof is a compound and properly serious problem for the waterfowl as permanently soggy feathers lead to hypothermia and death.
Fortunately, local swan crusaders, Swan Lifeline, are in touch with some top swan scientists in the USA and, after a rigorous two-year investigation, a cure has been found…
Eureka! A nice bath and proper wing wash in household detergent does the trick. Swan Lifeline are treating all the Berkshire birds and will be keeping an eye on them post-treatment to ensure they return to their original snowy whiteness.
Celebrity swan fan: George Michael
Image courtesy of mrjamie's Flickrstream