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Swan Release

Posted on 12 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

What a beautiful day for a swan release! I couldn't be happier that Spring is almost here!!

Last May, we took in a baby Swan with a broken pelvis. He was cold and covered in mud. He had been abandoned by all of the other Swans at the pond. Fortunately, a nice couple from Palatine, Mike and Kelly, rescued him and brought him to us at Flint Creek Wildlife.

After cage rest followed by physical therapy, the Swan made a full recovery. (The baby pictures are of one of the Swan's first physical therapy sessions.) He was not ready to leave, however, before local area lakes started freezing over, so we decided to provide him a safe home for the winter and release him in the Spring.

In December, another juvenile Swan arrived. This one had an upper respiratory infection. After he recovered from the upper respiratory infection, he joined the first Swan. Now both waiting for Spring, they became fast friends.

Yesterday was their big day....

We contacted a wonderful couple, Allan and Debbie Anderson, who kindly agreed to let us release the two Swans at their lakeside home. We had previously helped, and ultimately released, an adult Swan that the Andersons brought to us.

We went down on the Anderson's floating dock and I lowered each Swan to the water. The older Swan that came to us in December immediately flew off and, within ten minutes, had hooked up with another Swan on the lake. The younger Swan approached his release a little more gingerly. He floated around then started intermittently flapping his wings and dipping his head under the water. He seemed to want to take it all in before catching up with the other Swans on the lake.

Sometimes our work is so long and hard...emotionally, physically and, above all, financially. Yet in moments like this, I know that it's all worth it!

Good luck Swans - long and safe lives to you both!!

All pictures are courtesy of the very talented Phil Hampel at Game Time Images (www.gametimeimages.com). Thank you, Phil, for documenting these beautiful birds for us.

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