Sad case of the black swan stranded in Port Pirie

RESCUE: Graham Nichols tried to feed bread tothe ill-fated black swan that found its way to his property on the edge of town. The bird was taken to a veterinarian.
RESCUE: Graham Nichols tried to feed bread tothe ill-fated black swan that found its way to his property on the edge of town. The bird was taken to a veterinarian.

A stranded black swan caused a flurry of phone calls for Graham Nichols.

Mr Nichols, who lives on the edge of town, was amazed to see the bird in his carport.

"I opened the garage door and he walked inside," he said.

"We put some bread there, but the bird did not eat it. I didn't know what I would do with it.

"I phoned the council, the fauna and wildlife department, the RSPCA and police to no avail. We were trying to do the right thing."

Finally, Mr Nichols took the bird to veterinarian Phil Taylor at his Solomontown clinic.

Mr Taylor said the swan had been "neurologically challenged".

"It could not hold up its head. There was something wrong with it. Sometimes they can be released in the wetlands," he said.

He said the bird was put down rather than set free.

"If not, it would have just floundered and something would have feasted on it," he said. The ill-fated bird may have come into town over the salt flats in front of Mr Nichols' home.

Swans have been seen on the Pirie River.

Meanwhile, Mr Nichols received a Community Award from Premier Steven Marshall.

It recognised his volunteer work with the Smelter's Picnic and involvement in the Rotary Club of Port Pirie.

The award was presented by the club's outgoing president Sebastian Mezzino at the presidential change-over dinner at the Virtus Soccer Club earlier this year. Mr Nichols said he felt "humble" as a result of receiving the award.

"You don't do it for that, in a sense, do you?" he said.

Rotary encourages people with an interest in their community to join the organisation.

Meetings are at the Virtus club, in Parks Street, Solomontown, every Thursday evening.

President is Pam Menadue and secretary Stephen Lynch.

The club runs a barbecue at regular intervals at the Producers' Market.

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