A swan was saved from drowning in a river after he was spotted covered in was thought to be cooking oil.
The swan had been seen walking around a KFC car park earlier and was then spotted sinking in the river.
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) was alerted on Sunday morning by people who saw the bird walking around the car park in Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne.
Members of the public were trying their best to prevent the swan from wandering into the road before WRAS rescuers Tony and Claire Neads arrived from Polegate to rescue it.
When they got there, the swan had already been put back into the waterway which leads to Princes Park Lake in Eastbourne.
But the rescuers spotted that it was struggling in the water, becoming rapidly waterlogged and gradually sinking lower and lower.
Using rescue equipment from their ambulance they managed to capture the swan.
They covered the freezing bird in towels and rushed it to the WRAS’s hospital at Whitesmith near Lewes.
On arrival the WRAS Care Team was waiting and could see the swan was covered in a substance which they believed was cooking oil.
Lead casualty manager Chris Riddington said: “The poor swan was clearly struggling and was soaked through due to the oil taking his waterproofing away.”
Following advice from the Swan Sanctuary, Chris and casualty manager Katie Nunn Nash took the swan to the shower room.
They used washing up liquid to try to remove some of the sticky oil from the swan’s head, neck and underbelly.
After a lengthy clean, the swan was dried and placed on a heat mat to try to bring his body temperature back up to normal.
Chris said: “We are asking anyone living along the river from Princes Park to Leeds Avenue to please keep an eye out for any wildlife that looks like its waterlogged or struggling like fish gasping.
“Ducks and swans should never look sodden and water should run off their backs.
“This oil isn’t black or obvious and will just look like the bird is soaking wet and dirty.