In a rather unusual race against time, locals from Ayle in Westport, County Mayo captured and transferred four five month old cygnets from a disappearing lake in a bid to escape the clutches of marauding foxes.

For many years foxes have killed successive generations of young swans residing on a rapidly disappearing puddle of water which is a full-blown lake in wintertime.

The foxes have killed them here every year...for years, over the last...20 or 30 years...all that we’ve seen survive is one.

The dramatic early morning rescue entailing an unorthodox car journey across country to Islandeady Lake six miles away, ensured this year’s cygnets will avoid becoming a tasty breakfast for the prowling foxes of Ayle.

An RTÉ News report by Jim Fahy broadcast on 16 September 1986