What started out as a leisurely walk for a dog owner and his Cocker Spaniel in Dublin, Ireland, turned to an unexpected tragedy. The dog was swimming in a duck pond near a group of swans and cygnets when suddenly an adult swan broke away and aimed straight for the animal.

At the far end of the pond, a man feeding the ducks heard the owner shouting for his dog.

“We started screaming at the swan, trying to distract it,” said the man. “The poor dog didn’t realize what was going on and swam straight for the swan.”

Sadly, the witness looked on in horror as the swan lifted her wings and beat Cocker with one wing and then the other. It stunned the pup and within four more slaps, the Spaniel was dead.

The owner of the dog was so upset, he collapsed into the pond. Normally, at this time of day dogs are allowed off lead.

Source: Chipsdipp/Flickr

“I have never heard of anything like this happening before,” Peter Duignan, a Dublin City Council park ranger said. Duignan arrived just after the incident occurred. Along with two colleagues, they removed the dog’s body using a small paddle boat and net.

Our deepest condolences to this sweet pup’s owner. Please be careful around swans if you walk near ponds or a body of water where they migrate.