A woman just happened to be in the right place at the right time to rescue a sick swan.
When Ariel Cordova-Rojas ventured out for some bird watching at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens one morning, she had no idea how her day would unfold. Luckily for the infirm female mute swan she encountered, help was at hand.
Not only is Ariel an avid birder, she’s also had extensive training wildlife rescue. She spent five years as an animal care manager at the Wild Bird Fund facility, so was no stranger to dealing with sick and injured avians, reports the New York Times.
After assessing the swan’s condition, which was was subdued, lethargic and weak, Ariel wrapped the bird in her jacket. Although hampered by having to haul both bike and bird, she began planning the journey across the city from wildlife sanctuary to wildlife care centre.
Along her route, she was helped by some kind strangers who drove her, her bike, and her new feathered friend to a nearby subway station. Clearly, It takes a lot to phase New Yorkers. Even the sight of a woman schlepping a live swan and lugging a bicycle on the subway didn’t cause much of a stir. “Nobody seems to be fazed,” Ariel said. “One man was sitting right in front of me and he’s just on his phone. I don’t even know if he noticed there was a swan in front of him.”
At the end of the 23 mile odyssey, she was relieved and happy to finally hand the swan into the capable care of the staff at the Wild Bird Fund for evaluation and treatment. It wasn't exactly how she planned to spend her day, but Ariel reckons the unexpected adventure was one of the best gifts she’s ever received.
“That was kind of the perfect culmination of my 20s. It was the perfect birthday present to be in nature and be able to save a life.”
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