A swan who had a fall from grace and crash landed on the roof of a Leicester church – was saved after the church wardens heard loud footsteps above and went to investigate.
The church warden climbed up the bell tower and was able to spot the swan on the pitched apex roof of St Margaret’s Church – some 20ft from the ground.
Warden Chris Newman then went onto the roof and discovered the swan sitting down – he tried to encourage her off the roof – but she refused to budge.
So he then called the RSPCA who requested the help of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service to attend the incident on Wednesday, January 12.
It was fortunate that a service was due to be held later that morning, which meant some of the wardens and congregation were inside and heard the footsteps above. Had it been another day – no one would have known about the swan’s predicament.
Chris said: “She was one very lucky swan and we are all so very pleased that she was rescued and able to be released again.
“We’ve never had anything like this happen before – we were inside the church preparing for the church service when we suddenly heard these heavy feet above us – so I went up to the bell tower and when I discovered the swan it was quite a surprise – when I found her she was just sat there and looking at me!”
RSPCA Inspector Allison North said: “This was one very lucky swan – because if those who were already in the church had not heard her on top of the roof – no one would have known she was stuck there.
“You wouldn’t have been able to see her from the ground because the roof was partially obscured by a parapet wall.
“I climbed up the church tower in order to locate the swan, but the roof was too slippery and wet and I knew I didn’t have a ladder big enough to get to her myself so I requested the help of the fire service who were great and able to attend the location and be able to use the unusual circumstances as training.
“The firefighters were able to easily catch the bird and hand her over to me – and fortunately despite her ordeal – she was not injured and I was able to release her back to the wild.
“I would just like to say a huge thank you to the fire service for helping this swan; they were just brilliant. It was certainly an unforgettable rescue and so glad that we had a happy ending. It seems the swan’s prayers were certainly answered.”