Frightened rowers, terrorised by an aggressive swan nicknamed "Mr Asbo", have made a desperate bid this week in an attempt to have the swan removed from the River Cam.

The swan gained notoriety last year when he repeatedly attacked rowers as they made their way past Fen Ditton. One rower described the swan as "psychotic". Following a winter of respite, the swan has returned to the river about one and a half miles closer to the city centre, just outside the Green Dragon pub.

Already this year Mr Asbo has launched himself at a motorised pleasure bit, bitten the end of an eight crew’s craft, and attacked a helpless father and daughter who were paddling along the river in a dingy.

Ashley Sparkes and his seven-year-old daughter Madison were paddling their inflatable dingy when Mr Asbo launched his attack. "Madison was really scared. We were attacked twice. The second time we were not even close to him," said Mr Sparkes. "We were about 200m away when he took off from the water and came at us, full speed, flapping his wings."

Despite the ordeal, Mr Sparkes does not support removing the swan: "It’s his river after all. We’ll just have to do our best to avoid him."

The President of the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association, Bill Key, yesterday called for the Queen to authorise the removal of the ‘’offending bird’’ before it causes serious injury.

"The swan situation is most serious and someone is going to be badly injured or worse – indeed a number of injuries have already occurred.

"We have nearly 1,000 local rowers and 2,000 students who will be returning to the water this week. I hope that the appeal will be approved by the authorities who make these decisions."

The Conservators of the Cam have said that negotiations are underway regarding the future of the swan. Deputy Manager Jonathan Wakefield said: "The Queen has an officer responsible for the swans. I don’t believe that anybody can kill or remove a swan without permission from them. We are liaising with various governing bodies to see what the options are.

Swans are currently protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the penalty for illegally taking, injuring or killing a swan, or their eggs, carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a £5,000 fine.

Her Majesty’s Swan Warden, Oxford academic Dr Christopher Perrins, said that any request to remove the swan would have to go through the monarch.