A warning has been issued to dog owners after two separate incidents in which swans were terrorised and nearly killed.

The first attack came on Monday (May 8) when two bull terriers reportedly attacked a female swan at Barnes Common.

The wounded bird was spotted near Barnes Pound and taken in by the Swan Sanctuary for treatment.

A second incident today, reportedly an attack by a dog not on a lead, injured another swan.

Both birds narrowly escaped being bitten but lost a huge chunk of their feathers and have suffered traumatic experiences.

Sue Holmes, a wildlife photographer from Teddington, said: “I am absolutely horrified – I saw this dog which wasn’t on its lead run down and attack the male swan sitting on the bank and his owners did nothing.

“The swan was clearly terrified and completely stressed by the whole thing and was desperate to get back to his family on their nest in the water.”

The Swan Sanctuary – a charity which looks after and rescues injured swans – has been called to both incidents to check on and look after the birds.

It has confirmed that neither have suffered any serious injuries but were very shaken up and lucky to not have not been more seriously harmed.

Swan Sanctuary trustee Steve Knight, said: “Dogs have a very vicious bite and the poison which gets into the swans blood can be extremely lethal.

“When we went to check on the mother in Barnes Green after the attack on Monday it is clear the attacks have a serious effect on the whole family because the mum, dad and babies have not been out of the water.”

Richmond council has since issued a warning urging dog owners to take more care when walking near the water and make sure they put them on leads when in the presence of wildlife.

Ishbel Murray, assistant director for Contracts and Leisure for Richmond Council, said: “This is clearly quite a distressing incident.”

“We warmly welcome responsible dog owners to our parks and open spaces but we do also urge all dog walkers to be vigilant and sensible when walking their dogs.”

The swan sanctuary has also reported that they picked up a cygnet from the male swan’s family early Tuesday morning who looked like it had been attacked as well.

To find out more about the Swan sanctuary and the charity’s work visit www.theswansanctuary.org.uk or call 01932 240790