Swans Through the Seasons
I went down to do the authorized afternoon feeding of our swans and was surprised to see our young Tristan choosing to lie down as he ate. As soon as he got up I started to check him over. He clearly had been hurt and had blood on his feathers and foot joint. Something had to be done – any wound can infect quickly if it's not treated. Keeping an eye on Tristan, I called Ziggy, our resourceful Wildlife Technician, who immediately set about to co-ordinate assistance.
The little swan decided that he wanted to go back into the water and in spite of his pain, limped along the shore turning toward the water at each stop, with me hot-footing it behind him. He wasn't hard to catch and I just picked him up, and sat down on the nearest bench with him in my lap. Dear little swan (actually big - I think he weighs about 20 lb.) settled down so fast I couldn't believe it. After a couple of minutes I could literally feel his whole body relax all at once, and he draped his neck over my left arm while I put my right arm around him so he'd be secure.
Meanwhile, Ziggy had arranged for a Park Ranger to come down, and with Dr. McDonald of the Night Owl Bird Hospital for two of her staff to come over to the Lagoon to get Tristan. Karen, from the Clinic, phoned me to get clear directions to the Lagoon (they're in Kits) and I told her to call me if she needed further info).
The loveliest young woman came along and stayed with us for a while (wonderful moral support!). She was amazed at what a gentle swan Tristan is, and took a couple of pictures.
Tristan and I waited all told, about ¾ of an hour, in which time a Park Ranger arrived, and went up the road to watch for Karen’s arrival. I stroked him and told how much we all love him – he cuddled up like a teddy bear. The sky was dark and foreboding with the rain promised by the weather forecasters, but we were in luck, and it held off during our vigil.
Dr. McDonald’s two staff members arrived with two wonderful warm and cozy blankets to tuck our Tristan up, so only his little face peeked out, and took him away to the hospital, where he’d be treated and cared for as outlined in the next message. More about his injury and treatment in the next message – read on…