The RSPCA rescued ducks, geese and swans from a river in Norfolk following a diesel spill on Tuesday.

oiled cygnet sitting in a box at rescue centre

The RSPCA was called out to the Little Ouse and Thet rivers in Thetford after someone broke into a commercial property and damaged a diesel container when they were disturbed, causing thousands of litres of fuel to spill out into the rivers.

The spillage affected nearly thirty water birds which were collected by the RSPCA and taken to the charity’s East Winch wildlife centre where they are being cleaned ready to be released back into the wild when they are ready..

RSPCA animal collection officer Craig Plumley said: “The largest number of affected birds is mute swans, but there are a number of Canada geese and two mallards now at East Winch.


“Diesel can do so much damage to these poor birds.


“Unfortunately, three of the six signets we rescued have had to be put to sleep because they had swallowed so much of the fuel and so has one of the Canada Geese.”


The Environment Agency has been working on clearing up the diesel spill.


Police are questioning a man in relation to the damage to the diesel container.


Photographs of the birds are available. Please contact the RSPCA press office.