Traffic Officers rescue swan from A1M hard shoulder


14 Nov 2022

Cygnet-ture flair sees traffic officers rescue motorway swan

Meet Boris Swanson, the plucky young swan rescued from the hard shoulder of a busy motorway by a National Highways crew. 

National Highways Traffic Officer Team Manager Lukas Cadman carries Boris to safety

Traffic Officer Team Manager Lukas Cadman and his team managed to get the bird away from danger on the A1M in South Yorkshire

Lukas and his team were on patrol when they got a call from concerned motorists about the swan, which was perched by the southbound carriageway between junctions 38 (Red House) and 37 (Marr). 

Officers were deployed to the scene with a special animal emergency response kit, or a ‘swan kit’ designed to carry swans and similar aquatic birds, fowl and fair, to safety. 

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.”

Traffic was temporarily halted to enable the rescue.  

Lukas said: “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.” 

Using the specially designed equipment, Lukas managed to grab the stray creature and carry it into the car, which, like other National Highways traffic patrol vehicles, had an animal carrier especially for rescues such as this. 

The swan was carried back to the National Highways outstation at Sprotbrough, where officers gave it the name Boris Swanson.  

Lukas said: “Once the swan was safe, we decided to let the RSPCA take over. They came have a look and check it was healthy with no injuries.” 

The swan has now been released back into a lake near Doncaster.  

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.” 

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. 

National Highways has been involved in various other animal rescues in the region this year, with traffic officers picking up Smudge the kitten from a central reservation on the M18 northbound near Doncaster in July.