first year

first year

In late 2013 and early 2014, Back to the Wild rescued two trumpeter swans from a field and received a tundra swan. All three birds were suffering from severe dehydration, malnutrition, and starvation. Sadly, one of the young trumpeter swans was too far

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In late 2013 and early 2014, Back to the Wild rescued two trumpeter swans from a field and received a tundra swan. All three birds were suffering from severe dehydration, malnutrition, and starvation. Sadly, one of the young trumpeter swans was too far gone to be saved. However, this is not the end of their story. While her brother was lost to his illness, the other trumpeter, with fluid therapy and critical care diet, showed a remarkable resilience and seemed to almost bounce right back into health. The tundra swan was just as fortunate as our young trumpeter. She came to us at death's door but, through sheer force of will, she was able to rebound and make a full recovery. For the last couple of months these large yet elegant birds have become friends of a sort in our wetlands cage. None of the Back to the Wild staff could venture out to the wetlands cage with hearing their honking conversations with each other or their exuberant head bobbing upon our entrance...nor could we stop ourselves from laughing and smiling at the playfulness of this oddly matched duo. Yesterday, April 18th, this very same duo were rewarded for their fighting spirit with a second chance at freedom. You might notice in the video that the trumpeter swan (who was released second by Judi and Sammie) doesn't go as far as the tundra. The reason for this is that her flight feathers have not completely regrown. She had lost them due to being frozen in ice this winter. It can take a very long time for them to grow back and the more time a first year bird like her spends in captivity, the less her chances of survival. Given her size and the wonderful habitat that we released her in, it is VERY unlikely that anything would make a meal out of her. Judi, Sammie, and myself couldn't have been more elated to have had the opportunity to release these magnificent birds! This winter saw many ducks, diving birds, geese, and swans stranded and frozen in ponds and lakes and we were fortunate enough to have been able to release nearly all of them. The staff here at Back to the Wild fought hard, working around the clock giving fluids, tubing critical care, and giving supportive care to these ailing animals and they rewarded us with a show of their strength, courage, and resilience. No matter who you are, you have to love a happy ending! (After the release, both of the swans swam off into the pond together. What a thrill!! A big thanks to Pickerel Creek for allowing us to release the birds in the pristine and beautiful habitat they maintain.)