By JAYA NARAIN
Departed: Rambo, a local legend in Blackburn, lived almost three times as long as the average wild swan. He suffered from arthritis, but had three mates during his lifetime at Queen's Park.
His ferocious temper and aggressive antics around the lake were legendary and led to him being dubbed Rambo by locals.
But now Britain's oldest wild swan has died at the age of 30.
Rambo got his name after witnesses watched him drown two small dogs who were swimming too close to his cygnet eggs.
Home: The lake at Queen's Park in Blackburn, Lancashire - and the island where Rambo fathered generations of cygnets
He also made a daily habit of attacking Canadian geese who flew into his territory and had even killed other swans who came too close.
But in recent years he had begun to slow down and developed arthritis which had limited his ability which prevented him from flying.
So bad has his condition become that he found it impossible to climb the steep banking on the island in the middle of the lake.
So his partner, Penny, had to nest in hedges close to a footpath which resulted in the eggs either being stolen, vandalised or being targeted by dogs.
Family man: Rambo was a grumpy character - but only in defence of his family. The swan earned his name after drowning two dogs which were swimming too close to his cygnet eggs.
But after 30 years living at Queen's Park in Blackburn, Lancs, Rambo finally passed away close to the lakeside bank. He was found by council parks staff looking as if he was still asleep.
Liz Fields of Queen's Park Supporters' Group, which feeds the swans daily, said: 'Rambo was huge and he used to greet me with a little grunt.
'He was very protective of his cygnets and was obsessed with chasing off intruders. I think he knew he was dying because instead of chasing off this year's cygnets, he allowed them to stay, including the male which is very unusual.
'He looked like he was asleep when he was found which I am very glad about. He was a fantastic swan and I loved him to bits.'
Friday, December 23, 2011
Rambo is dead: One of Britain's oldest and fiercest swans - who notoriously drowned two DOGS - dies aged 30
By JAYA NARAIN