Traffic officers save swan from danger on busy motorway hard shoulder

Our traffic officers use special response kit to rescue a swan from the A1(M) in South Yorkshire

Traffic Officer Team Manager Lukas Cadman and his colleagues were on patrol earlier this month when a concerned motorists reported the swan perched by the southbound carriageway.

The officers arrived on scene with a 'swan kit' - a special animal emergency response kit designed to carry swans and similar aquatic birds to safety. Traffic was temporarily stopped to enable the rescue.

Traffic officer uses swan kit to carry stray swan
Traffic Officer Team Manager, Lukas Cadman, safely carries the swan with a special animal emergency response kit ('swan kit')

Using the specially designed equipment, Lukas managed to grab the stray creature and carry it to one of our traffic patrol vehicles, which have an animal carrier especially for rescues like this.

Lukas said:

"It appeared to be quite a young swan. It wasn’t injured thankfully but was understandably nervous. There were a couple of worrying moments before we got to the swan – just before we put on a rolling roadblock to slow traffic, it started waddling into the road. Thankfully, we managed to get to it in time.

"We did get a hiss from the swan and some flapping of wings, but it was easier to get hold of than I thought it would be. Once I got hold of its body and neck, it was quite compliant."

Lukas and his team carried the swan to our Sprotbrough outstation, where officers gave it the name Boris Swanson. After receiving a clean bill of health from the RSPCA, the swan has now been released back into the countryside.

Lukas is no stranger to caring for creatures who need his help, being an animal lover who worked as a dog handler in a previous job.

Lukas said:

"At National Highways we set out to look after all living creatures on the network who need our help.

"Animals on the roads can present a danger not only to themselves but also to road users, so we were glad to have been able to help this swan."