Neighbors form human chain for rare rescue of Australian black swans found on Long Island
A rare summer sighting saved two abandoned black swans.
Two Australian black swans were found in Southold, New York, when local residents of Long Island formed a human chain to protect the birds until they could be rescued.
“I got a call Wednesday morning with someone who said, ‘Hey, I looked out the window and saw these swans,'” John Di Leonardo, president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature. Di Leonardo was then more than two hours away. “The neighbors jumped into the kayaks and stayed with the swans until I came to catch them.”
Tony Bellissimo spotted the birds with their bright red beaks earlier this week outside his home in Corey Creek and initially thought they were covered in oil from a potential oil spill, but after doing some research, he realized that they were rare Australian swans, the Suffolk Times reported.
The exotic birds were also reportedly spotted in Florida and in ponds in the Newport Beach, California area last year.
The black swans could have been released or escaped captivity, Di Leonardo said.
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Neighbors spotted the majestic birds on kayaks and formed a circle until Di Leonardo arrived.
“When we got out there. I started by throwing a little bait – a wild animal would usually be in flight mode, but these guys were totally tame. They started eating the bait from within a foot. me. The boats got a little too close so they got scared. I quickly captured the male. When I realized they were going swimming, I put him in a baby carrier on the shore and I carried the female. We were able to bring them together, “said Di Leonardo, adding that he is now fostering them.” These guys are not at all equipped for nature. ”
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Di Leonardo said he would find a sanctuary that would be most suitable for swans.