Staff at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells are in mourning after the death of their veteran mute swan, Bryn, who passed away overnight.
A palace spokesperson said Bryn, who was thought to have reached the age of 10, had been losing weight recently and began to seem subdued on Wednesday morning.
Moira Anderson, an administrator at the palace who has been caring for the swans for the past seven-years, took Bryn to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue centre in Highbridge where unfortunately he died overnight.
It is thought that Bryn’s cause of death was simply old age – mute swans in the wild generally live to around 10- to 12-years.
Bryn has been a much-loved sight on the palace moat since 2013 when he and partner Wynn travelled from Wales to take up residence in Wells.
The pair continued a tradition which began in 1800s when Bishop Hervey’s daughter taught a pair of swans to ring a bell on the gatehouse when they wanted to be fed. The tradition continues to this day.
Ms Anderson added: “Bryn will be hugely missed by all of the staff and visitors to the palace.
“We were used to him coming to visit us at the office door to the moat and, each year, he would bring us his new cygnets to show them off, which was truly touching.”
Bryn is survived by his life partner Wynn. The pair have had five clutches of cygnets in their time at the palace, and also had two clutches prior to that.
Wynn has currently laid eggs in her nest and is sitting on them. Palace staff will be keeping a close eye on her over the next few weeks and ensuring that she has a ready supply of food nearby.