To understand the work of Popcorn Park is to understand that our work extends far beyond providing a permanent sanctuary to hundreds of animals and birds. Our work also includes rescues of all kinds of animals, treatment and surgeries and release back into the place where they came from wherever possible. This is the story of the rescue and release of one such bird ... a swan.
This indicates the area which is infected and where the injury healed over.
The swan being sedated prior to surgery.
We had a swan come in from Manahawkin the last week of June. He was caught up on land and limping. He was a little light and could only put minimal weight on his left leg. Our vet staff checked him over, did some routine blood work and also blood work for lead poisoning which we have found in local swans before and is fatal.
During the exam, Dr Bergmann noticed the joint on the left leg to be rather hot. He took x rays and found that the swan had a .177 caliber pellet embedded in his leg. It was badly infected but the skin had healed over.
The pellet being removed from the swan's leg.
The swan was sedated and surgery began. Doc found the encapsulated infection, drained it and then carefully found the pellet and removed it. We cleaned the swan up and gave him pain and antibiotic injections for the next ten days.
The swan was recovering well about 15 minutes after surgery.
He recovered in what has become our swan rehab trailer.
Ten days of recuperation in the swan trailer built up his strength.
The blood work came back good and showed no lead poisoning. The swan ate well, regained his strength and was then moved over to a pond in Princess's yard for exercise.
Swimming is a great form of rehab.
He did well for over a week, but then seemed to have had enough, (I think he was getting tired of sharing the pond with Victor and Curly, our llamas), and starting looking for ways to get out.
Princess checking out the new guest in her pool.
So this past Sunday, July 29, we released him. It didn't really matter where we released him, he would find his way back to where he originally came from, so we brought him there. Homeowners along the bay were happy to see him back and will keep a watchful eye over him. They'll also keep an eye out for anyone who would want to harm him again.
Heading out to the bay.
All in all, it's the best place for him to be. He wouldn't be happy anywhere else and would just keep trying to "go home". Manahawkin's ACO's will also keep an eye on him.
The swan came back for one last `Thank you' and swam back out to the bay.
We were glad to see him swim contentedly out to the bay, and even more glad when he swam back to us, to thank us.
If you appreciate this kind of effort and would like to be sure that Popcorn Park can continue to save animals in need, please donate today and make a difference. Thank you.