A SWAN had to be rescued from an Irvine pond last week after it was attacked by a mink, leaving its cygnets dead.

The swan, which was nesting in Tarryholme Pond, was left brutally wounded after the mink pounced and killed its young.

Irvine amateur photographer Sandy Richardson spotted the bleeding swan and immediately reported it to the SSPCA.

The Times understands none of the swan’s cygnets survived the attack.

At the time of the attack a spokeswoman for the SSPCA said: “We have been alerted to an injured swan in Irvine.

“It is likely that she has been attacked by a mink, we are currently trying to capture the swan to assess her injuries.” However the Times understands the swan has since been rescued and is receiving treatment for her injuries.

Sandy said: “I spoke to someone from the SSPCA and they said in the end it took four of them to catch her.

“They said it was 100 per cent caused by a mink and the swan’s beak has bite marks all over it.

“Apparently it happens a lot to nesting water birds, but judging by the mess of her she must have put up a real fight for her cygnets.

“I hope she’s safe and well and free soon.”