By Liam Geraghty
A dog walker dramatically leapt to the aid of a swan that was trapped next to a railway line – by chucking it over a barbed wire fence.
Jim Gardner, 51, was walking through Poole Park in his native Poole, Dorset, when he heard the sound of the distressed bird at around 2.30pm on Wednesday (March 29).
The animal lover spotted the swan, which is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in the UK, in a feathered frenzy and stuck behind a fence and just yards away from a railway line.
Jim opted to rescue the bird by giving it a real-life swan dive when he bizarrely threw it over his head and to the safety of the other side of the fence.
The bird then swanned off on to the lake before flying off – leaving Jim to make his own escape by rolling over the fence under the barbed wire.
Jim said: “I just heard the swan making a distressed sound – I have never heard a swan make a sound like that.
“It was nearly on the tracks but when it noticed me it started walking towards the fence.
“I tried to contact swan people to help out but I couldn’t get in touch with them and I wasn’t going to sit by and let it be hit by a train.
“When you see the wingspan of the bird, you think that it is going to be a big imposing bird but it was fine, it wasn’t worried about me at all.
“It was fine and it just let me pick it up and chuck it over the fence.”
Jim was hailed a hero by fellow animal lovers online after he shared footage of the daring rescue.
But he insists that his bizarre brief encounter with the bird did not leave him in a flap.
Jim said: “I wasn’t worried about any of it really even though I have never interacted with one in my life.
“I just had to do it because I couldn’t watch it get killed in front of me.
“It was good to see him swanning off and he was straight back on the water with his mates.
“Everyone has been really pleased about it and told me that I did a good thing.”