Help for a sick swan included a 23-mile trip on the NYC subway

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A young woman riding her bicycle through Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge on Thursday became a true act of kindness for an injured female mute swan. As Ariel Cordova-Rojas, 30, had been enjoying her ride, she couldn’t help but notice the swan sitting alone in the grass.

According to the Wild Bird Fund, where Rojas previously worked, swans can be very aggressive, and it’s a good thing to stay clear of them, but this was different. As she approached the swan, the bird barely moved.

“Something about her just didn’t seem right,” Ariel said. When approached, the swan tried to drag herself away with her wings but didn’t stand. “I just couldn’t leave her there.”

Days before someone had reported an injured swan to the Wild Bird Fund, but volunteers had not been able to find her.

And so Rojas scooped the 17-pound bird up into her arms, placed her coat over her and walked her bicycle and the swan back to the entrance of the park. The ranger station was closed and Brooklyn Animal Care Center was too busy.

She carried the bird to the subway after accepting a ride from a kind driver, who also carried the woman’s bike onto the train to the Howard Beach station.

“And then it was just another Thursday in NYC when someone rides the train with a bicycle and a gigantic swan. (Yawn!) Two staff members tag-team drove them to the clinic the rest of the way. Thanks to all!”

The swan is being treated for lead toxicity and is in stable condition at the clinic.

Who ever said New Yorkers don’t care about anything but themselves should reconsider their harsh rhetoric. We all need a reason to smile, and many thanks to Ariel. You rock!

(Photos via Ariel Cordova-Rojas, Josh Spector and Wild Bird Fund Facebook page)

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