A swan crash-landed into a coronavirus test centre car park in County Durham.
The swan is believed to have confused the car park at Darlington Football Club’s training ground on Grange Road for a lake and crashed into the hard surface.
Staff working at the emergency track and trace centre that’s been set up on the site called the RSPCA after becoming concerned the swan seemed disorientated.
RSPCA inspector Krissy Raine, who went to help on Tuesday, said: “We received a call from the amazing staff working at the Track and Trace centre which has been set up in Darlington FC’s training ground car park.
“The site is testing local people with coronavirus symptoms using a drive-through format so the car park can get really busy throughout the day.
“We think this swan confused the car park for a lake and crash-landed on the hard surface and couldn’t take off again.”
The testing site was quiet when the bird landed but staff were concerned as he seemed disorientated, confused and was struggling to stand.
“Staff working at the site didn’t know what to do with him and, with lots of testing appointments booked and dozens of cars expected to start arriving they didn’t want to leave him in the hazardous car park,” Krissy added.
“The staff closed the site for 10 minutes while I caught him and, thankfully, it didn’t interfere with any important appointments they had booked.
“I checked him over and, as he wasn’t injured, transported him to the River Tees nearby and released him out with a bevy of other swans.
“It was lovely to see him swimming off with the other birds and to know that the staff at the testing site could continue their important work. Crisis averted.”
Water birds such as swans and geese can sometimes confuse roads or car parks for rivers or lakes while flying overhead and come in to land on the hard surface, which can cause injury.
If you spot a bird that appears injured or in need of help please call the RSPCA’s emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.