Visitors to Kilbogget Park, Cabinteely were in for a shock this past Thursday morning when a female swan was attacked and killed by a dog.

Witnesses to the event say that around 9am a man entered the park and let his dog off the leash, the animal then ran into a nearby pond and killed a female swan who had only recently given birth to cygnets.

Under the Wild Birds Protection Act, 1930, swans are a protected species and although local community groups have appealed to people to come forward with information on the incident, the Garda say that the attack has not yet been reported.

In a statement, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said: “parks section of the council were made aware of an incident of a dog attack on a swan in Kilbogget Park, early Thursday morning. 

“Dog and dog owner responsible were not identified. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the death of the swan.”

According to the local authority the swan was removed from the pond by parks staff on Thursday and stresses that dogs in public should be kept on a lead.

“Those parks covered by parks bye laws require dogs to be kept on lead at all times,” it said.

The attack comes after a swan attacked a killed a dog in Bushy Park in June while it was swimming near young cygnets.

However, according to BirdWatch Ireland it is extremely rare for a swan to attack a dog but receive four to five reports of dog attacks on swans every summer.

Regular visitors to Kilbogget Park say that the they were keeping a close eye on the female swan, male partner and cygnets over the summer as they were a beloved feature of the park.

One commenter online said they “have been following the progress of the swan family in Kilbogget Park and mammy and daddy swan have been watching over their little family for months.

“They lost a cygnet but as you can see the other two are thriving. “Words fail me – it is so sad to see the little threesome.”