A white swan has been turned black after what is thought to be printer toner was dumped in a pond.
The mute swan was rescued from the water in Westbury, Wiltshire, covered in a black powdery substance.
It was taken to RSPCA West Hatch where staff said it will take “quite a lot of Fairy Liquid to get it clean”.
Photos from the animal rescue centre show staff carefully cleaning the bird in a large tub of frothing water.
RSPCA Inspector Steph Daly said: “I was horrified because it looked like a black swan.
“We’re still really baffled as to what this substance is.”
The distressed bird was spotted preening and trying to clean the substance off in a pond off Mane Way on Friday before being rescued on Saturday.
Insp Daly said: “We were really concerned because of the state of it.
“We assumed it was oil but it’s more powdery like photocopier ink toner.”
The charity said staff were “busy with the job of washing the substance off” but with each wash taking 30 minutes, it was “labour intensive”.
In Western thought black swans were not known to exist until Dutch explorers led by Willem de Vlamingh became the first Europeans to see them in Western Australia.