July 27 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Britain came to the assistance of a family of swans found swimming in a river while covered in cooking oil.
The RSPCA said Inspector Richard Durant, Inspector Sally Kearns and Animal Collection Officer Jack Curran responded to the River Soar, near the Space Center in Leicester, on a report of two swans and two cygnets covered in an oily substance.
The Environmental Agency opened an investigation into the incident and confirmed the substance was vegetable oil.
"These poor birds were covered in cooking oil and needed a good clean and some TLC so I took them to the local wildlife hospital for care," Durant said. "Sadly, it has been reported to us that there were four cygnets with this family of swans, so it is believed that two of the young may have died as a result of the substance."
Durant said the investigation into how the oil ended up in the river is ongoing.
"It's unclear at the moment whether this substance ended up in the river accidentally or on purpose but this is the second pollutant which has affected swans in the area in the last couple of months," he said.