The Scottish SPCA is urging locals in Irvine and the surrounding area NOT to feed a pair of swans who are frequenting the Rivergate Shopping Centre on Fullarton Street.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity has relocated the swans twice but they keep returning to the busy shopping centre as members of the public are feeding the birds.

Scottish SPCA inspector Katie McIntyre said: “We were first alerted to the swans on December 12 when they were spotted outside The Auld Brig Wetherspoons pub.

“With the help of Police Scotland we managed to get the birds back across a busy dual carriageway to the water.

“However, unfortunately the birds returned. We attended again and transported them further away to Irvine Harbour but we have now received reports they are back again."

Irvine Times: Swans in IrvineSwans in Irvine

She continued: “We have checked both swans and they are healthy and in good condition. We assume they are returning to the area due to members of the public feeding them.

“We would ask that if anyone sees these swans at the shopping centre that they don’t feed them as it is a very busy area and could be dangerous for the birds.

"There is also a risk to the public if the swans cause a road traffic accident. We don’t have a way to prevent the swans from coming back to the shopping centre and as a charity our resources are limited so we cannot keep attending and relocating them.

“Our hope would be that if people stop feeding them they will eventually move on and return to their natural habitat.

“If people do wish to feed the swans we’d ask that they do so down at the riverbank or while they’re on the water to encourage them to stay in these areas.

“If anyone has concerns about an animal in distress, they should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”