Rare Berwick’s swans shot in Arendonk

Three rare Berwick’s swans have been shot on a canal in Antwerp Province. The swans were shot while they were on the Dessel-Schoten Canal at Arendonk. "It is incomprehensible what has happened. The Minister needs urgently to work at providing more nature inspectors”, Sil Janssen of the Nature Assistance Centre told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp.  

“It is abhorrent what has happened to those Berwick’s swans”, Sil Janssens added. Last week three of the birds were found with gunshot wounds next to the Dessel-Schoten Canal. “One of the swans died at the scene. The two others were taken to sanctuaries. One swan is recovering at VOC Neteland in Herenthout. The swan that we are looking after had a pellet quite deep in its body. The vet has been able to remove it, but the swan will definitely remain in a critical condition for another two to three days”.     

Berwick’s swans are extremely rare in Flanders. They normally nest in the Siberian Tundra and are only seen here occasionally in the winter.

Sil Janssens adds that "Sadly we are seeing more and more animals that have been shot. This is in part due to hunters not respecting the rules. Or others wanting to vent their frustrations. I can’t understand. Let this be a warm request to the Flemish Environment Minister to give us more nature inspectors because a lot is going wrong”.   

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