Cyril Bennis, Stratford-upon-Avon’s self-appointed swan rescuer, was called by police.

“There are a lot of responsible dog owners out there,” he said. 

“But it’s become so frequent now, it’s getting beyond a joke.”

Worried for the welfare of Stratford’s 60 swans, he said: “There was such a fierce fight down there this morning.

“I just wanted to make a plea to dog owners to keep them on a lead by the River Avon in particular.”

To report a distressed swan, call Cyril on 01789 414775.

UPDATE: The swan died around 4pm Wednesday.