27 May 2021

‘Oldest swan in the UK’ to celebrate 30th birthday

27 May 2021

A swan believed to be the oldest in the UK is set to celebrate his 30th birthday.

Pickles, a whooper swan who lives in the grounds of Leeds Castle in Kent, will reach the milestone early next month.

Pickles the swan

The exact date of his birthday is unknown – when Pickles moved to Leeds Castle in 2013, it was known only that he hatched in early June 1991.

Staff from the castle’s falconry and wildlife team decided to designate June 3 as Pickles Day, for which there is a celebration each year.

This year, to mark his 30th birthday, he will be given a special swan-friendly cake to share with the rest of the birds.

Pickles the swan

Whooper swans, which can grow up to 5ft 3in (160cm) in length, generally live to around the age of 10 in the wild, but have been known to reach their late 20s in captivity.

At 30, Pickles is believed to be the oldest swan in the UK, according to Leeds Castle.

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